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I was recently working on getting a statistical model of a DNA sequence. To do this I found that understanding evolution quantitatively seems to be quite important. I would really appreciate any book recommendations on the basics of evolution.

I come from an Electrical Engineering background and have a limited knowledge of evolution and biology.

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You're looking for a introductory textbook that explain the principles of evolution, explain what is speciation and how it occurs, what is a gene, an allele, a locus, etc… explain stuff about phylogeny and so on. Or you want a book of population genetics (mathematical formulations of how an allele change in frequency in response to selection, to genetic drift. How does the population structure influence the probability of fixation of one allele etc..). Or something else more specific to bioinformatics.It's probably wiser to start with a book that gives an general introduction of evolution. –  Remi.b Apr 15 '14 at 22:38
    
I was looking for something more quantitative. I did read Dawkins' 'The Selfish Gene', which was quite brilliant in my opinion. –  Devil Apr 15 '14 at 22:57
    
Ok, so I think you might want to try one of the book given in the second paragraph of the answer of this other post –  Remi.b Apr 15 '14 at 22:59
    
I actually wouldn't have recommended Dawkins as a first book on evolution. He has some interesting ideas, but he is also has very radical views away from what the mainstream science agrees on. You cannot undo it now, of course, but for future reference for other people who see this question, it's probably better to start with a more basic and conservative text. And if you later read Dawkins or a similar author, you then have the basis to recognize what part of his arguments is consistent with the widely recognized knowledge, and what part makes large philosophical leaps. –  rumtscho Jan 5 at 22:02

3 Answers 3

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You either want a introductory book in evolutionary biology or a book that offers mathematical models of evolutionary processes.

In my first class of evolutionary biology I had this textbook: Futuyama, Evolution I think it gives a good start to the field and offers a good overview of the difference subfields.

If you think you already know enough about the concepts selection, genetic drift, molecular evolution, etc… and you want a book that provides mathematical formulations of evolution, then you might want to have a look into the field of population genetics. On this post you'll find some book-recommendations

If you are particularly interested into molecular evolution, I'd suggest: Yang, Computational molecular evolution

Maybe you are particularly interested into the statistical methodology used in DNA annotation or in phylogeny. Then…. I don't know! It's not quite my field!

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Thanks a lot. By evolutionary models, I meant mathematical formulations. –  Devil Apr 15 '14 at 22:54

I really good intro to evolution book is The Evolution of Vertebrate Design by Leonard Radinski.

Also, for a more math based approach you could look into Narrow Roads of Gene Land. These are collected papers of W.D Hamilton.

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I'd like to add a few books to to the above suggestions. The book by Sean Rice "Evolutionary Theory: Mathematical and Conceptual Foundations" covers a lot of ground, including allele-based models, quantitative genetics, Price's formalism, and MLS. If you're interested in social evolutionary models, I found R. McElreath and R. Boyd "Mathematical Models for Social Evolution" to be extremely accessible for those that don't have a solid math background. Another great book on social evolution is S. Frank's "Foundations of Social Evolution" but it is not as easy to follow as McElreath and Boyd's book.

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