I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of any text books on organic evolution? I have recently become interested in the subject and would like to know more. I think an undergrad level book would be a good place to start, but if you would like to recommend any graduate level books it could also be helpful.

I have a background in mathematics and modeling using mathematics. I have also taken a genetics class and an intro to cell biology class as well as read some papers on both subjects. Any help would be nice.


I was looking for a higher level discussion on the mechanisms of evolution. A better term to use might be evolutionary biology.

Sorry for the confusion I was under the impression that "organic evolution" was a common term.

Thank you for your time.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you mean 'evolution of organs' or 'natural evoltion', or something else with organic evolution ? $\endgroup$
    – Nicolai
    Jun 15 '17 at 6:03
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    $\begingroup$ Please clarify what you mean by "organic evolution". $\endgroup$
    Jun 15 '17 at 6:58
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for the help Remi.b I will look in to the books you have recommended. $\endgroup$
    – Student
    Jun 15 '17 at 14:30

Organic Evolution - Definition

'Organic evolution' was a common term. It is just rarely used today. Today, we just say 'evolution' or 'evolutionary biology' when referring to the field of study of 'evolution' (or of study of 'evolutionary processes').

Book recommendation

Math oriented

As you are used to work in applied mathematics, you'll definitely be interested in an intro book to population / evolutionary genetics. Population genetics is the mathematical basis of evolutionary theory. You will find recommendations at the post Books on population or evolutionary genetics?.

For you, I'd recommend Population Genetics: A Concise Guide as a start (or another one presented in the first section of the top answer to the post I referred to above). If then, you like coalescent theory (branching process), you might want to look at Coalescent Theory: an Introduction or some other more specialized books.

Not Math Oriented

Maybe you'll want something more introductory with much less math such as the Evolution: Making sense of life by Zimmer and Emlen or Evolution by Futuyma. These books are classic textbooks for intro class to evolutionary biology in Bachelor. These books will have the advantage to present you some other subfields of evolutionary biology such as the diversity of life, reading phylogenetic trees, ecological relationships and many other things that the books of population genetics don't go over.

Most common fields of math used in evolutionary biology

The most common fields of mathematics used in evolutionary biology are system dynamics, game theory, approximation theory, probability theory, branching processes and diffusion equations.


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