The Riot and the Dance: Foundational Biology


Gordon Wilson

Material: Hardback

New hardback version is available now!

If you thought high school biology was the tedious province of secular scientists, think again: The Riot and the Dance is biology like you've never seen it before.

With over 130 original illustrations and several hundred figures total, this book is first and foremost an approachable and readable explanation of the basics of biology. But Dr. Wilson doesn't dumb down the concepts, either. Using analogies, anecdotes, and simple, personable language, Dr. Wilson teaches students the bottom-line themes and key details of biology. The Riot and the Dance is not a pile of disconnected facts: it is an integrated foundation for understanding biological life, and it will stir up curiosity about all life from fungus firearms to familiar vertebrates—that, along with a greater desire to praise the Creator of it all.

In "Part 1: The Living Cell," you will be introduced to:

  • the basics of cellular and molecular biology, including the "motors" of flagella and other awe-inspiring nano-machines
  • the "how and why" of photosynthesis, cellular respiration, the central dogma, mitosis, meiosis, recombinant DNA technology, and Mendelian genetics, and more...

In "Part 2: The Diversity of Life," you will be taken on a fascinating tour of:

  • the major phyla and classes of all of the six taxonomic kingdoms
  • important concepts in the creation/evolution debate
  • an exciting survey of God's living handiwork, including the tiny, deadly Trypanosoma, fungus firearms, sedentary sponges, bizarre echinoderms and unfamiliar facts about the lifecycles and habits of familar vertebrates and plants
  • the basics of ecology, such as symbiotic relationships, food webs, and the interdependency of life
  • a biblical approach to conservation, and much more...

Rather than teaching a pile of disconnected facts about biology, Gordon Wilson gives the reader a foundational knowledge of living things alongside his primary goal, which is to stir up a long-lasting wonder and curiosity about life and a greater desire to praise the Creator. 

Each chapter of the book includes some review questions. For educators and homeschoolers, we have created a pdf with all the answers to the review questions which you can download here.

What People Are Saying:

"The Riot and the Dance by Dr. Gordon Wilson is not your typical biology text book, as is obvious from the title. It is written in a more personal style—like a conversation between the student and the professor. As a consequence the reader feels more like the author is a real person and they are reading a real book (rather than trying to plow through a dictionary or encyclopedia). All the essential biology is presented, and is presented well—but in a more user-friendly context. The author is transparent in his Christian perspective, but remains strongly focused on the biology at hand. His very limited interjection of personal perspectives preserves the book's professional character but adds a dash of salt. There is no attempt to deal in depth with various theories regarding the history of life, which I feel is appropriate and intellectually honest." -John Sanford, PhD, Courtesy Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University

"As a former college professor, it was refreshing to read a biology textbook that was not saturated in evolutionary fairy tales. Wilson doesn't hide his beliefs about creation beginning with God's Word. I enjoyed the conversational style of the book that will engage students with the information versus the typical biology textbook that is a boring recounting of facts. I also appreciated the use of analogies as these are a very effective teaching tool in the sciences. The Riot and the Dance will make a great addition to any biology classroom that desires to learn about God's world beginning with God's Word." -Georgia Purdom, PhD, Answers in Genesis


"Our previous high school biology curriculum was just not cutting it with neither my daughter nor me. What a difference with The Riot and the Dance! My daughter doesn't cringe when it's time for her to do science." -Leslie

"This is a textbook that is not like other textbooks because it is fun. I have used this book as a help in teaching high school biology, I've referred to it during medical school (for his summaries of metabolic pathways), and I have read big chunks of it for pleasure and out of curiosity. Dr. Gordon Wilson is a very talented teacher and he does a wonderful job of illustrating the content of his book." -Ryan

"The Riot and the Dance is everything you need a biology text to be. It’s college prep. It’s interesting. It covers biology from the cellular level all the way up to the macro level (but does not cover humans) and ends with a well written chapter on ecology. It traffics in awe and wonder... If you are looking for a biology curriculum for high school, The Riot and the Dance is worth your consideration. It’s a solid, informative text, it’s engaging, and the labs are good. What’s not to like?" -Brandy



SIZE: 8.5x11"

ISBN-10: 1591281238

ISBN-13: 9781591281238

PUB. DATE: January 20, 2015

More teaching resources for The Riot and the Dance:

The Riot and the Dance Teacher's Edition contains detailed reading objectives, quizzes for every chapter, unit exams, and a complete answer key. Students can take the quizzes and exams directly from this book as the pages are perforated for easy removal.

The Riot and the Dance Lab Manual contains 25 labs to accompany the textbook, along with materials list, objectives, exercises, detailed lab instructions, and a year long schedule of interactive labs corresponding to the Student text.

The Riot and the Dance Complete Bundle contains the Student Textbook, the Teacher's Edition, and the Lab Manual.

The Riot and the Dance Documentary is a beautifully shot film narrated by Dr. Wilson and directed by children's book author N.D. Wilson.

Check Out the Trailer here: