How did you guys like your intro to bio textbooks? What was your favorite and why?
For bio majors, hands down, it's Campbell's Biology. Good, accurate explanations of everything, very comprehensive in topics included, good organization, good figures but not so many that it turns into a picture book instead of a text book. It's had a long history of solid reviewers, and includes excerpts from people at the top of their field for each chapter. When I was a bio TA, for "political" reasons, the university forced the bio department to change textbooks for a few years (some stupid reason, like someone made the mistake of letting Campbell pay for lunch with some faculty when he visited the department, and someone complained it was some sort of kickback). That was miserable. There was no other book of the same quality. I had to spend a lot of time explaining to the students to ignore sections of their book that were wrong.
If you're talking about a text for non-bio majors, then I'm more ambivalent. I really have never found one that keeps things simple enough for a non-major to understand, but doesn't become so over-simplified as to be misleading.
I enjoy "Life: The Science of Biology" by Sadava & all
I like it more than Campbell , although I spent too little time with Campbell , so it more a personal preference.
I've read Alberts - Molecular Biology of the Cell from cover to cover. I also have the textbook mentioned in the above post and a textbook from Gilbert - Developmental Biology, but they are still on my reading list.
This is not intro biology, but Ive found absolutely fascinating reading some of the books from the "Biology of Habitats" series:
What is meant by intro to biology? Several topics could be considered introductory. I have read Integrated Principles of Zoology by Hickman and Biology by Arms and Camp. I have no basis for comparison, but I would like to know how they stack up to their comparables.
Campbell's is pretty much the gold standard for an intro to bio text. It's good. Long winded in my opinion in some parts, but good.
That's precisely why I was looking for clarification if the OP meant bio majors or non-bio majors. As you pointed out, there are a lot of courses that would fall under the category of "intro" biology, and their objectives and audiences are quite different, and therefore so must be the textbooks.
Most of the things with "Principles" in their title are introductory texts. Although a "intro to zoology" is much more narrow focus than a "intro to biology". Hickman's book is pretty much a intro.
My favourite introduction to biology textbook...
Well, it would have to be Campbell Biology. I believe that it has the most information that any biology text can provide for beginning students interested in pursuing biology. Campbell explains biological concepts very thoroughly, and I can confidently say that the majority of nonclinical information I know about biology is from Campbell (and perhaps other texts that are more specific to subjects in biology)
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