Introduction

£ volution is the process by which populations and species change over time. The principles of evolution explain why life on Earth is so varied and why organisms are the way they are. The study of evolution is not only interesting for its own sake, but it's also a fundamental part of the biological sciences. You can't understand (or combat) disease, can't understand the history of species (or the world, for that matter) — can't do a lot of things, in fact, without understanding evolution.

Simply put, evolution is the key scientific principle behind every substantive thing we know about biology, the study of living things. And its main points are remarkably easy to understand.

So why did I write a whole book about evolution? Because a lot of people are confused about exactly what evolution is, what it does, how it works, and why it's important. This book helps you sort everything out.

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