Sunday, November 1, 2009

Book Review


I just finished Evolution – What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters by Don Prothero. Dr. Prothero is a professor of geology at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He is also a lecturer of geobiology at the California Institute of Technology. Please visit his website if you would like to know more about him.

Here’s what Michael Shermer (founder of the Skeptic Society) had to say about this book:

The claims of the Intelligent Design creationists are brilliantly encapsulated and devastatingly dismantled by the geologist and paleontologist Donald Prothero in the best book ever produced on the subject. I’ve known Don since the early 1990s when I took an active role investigating the claims of the creationists and publicly airing them in numerous forums, including in articles, essays, opinion editorials, books, lectures, and debates. Throughout this odyssey Don has been my co-pilot, directing my efforts, focusing my concentration, checking my facts, and guiding me through the labyrinth of scientific sources, of which he is the master. I am delighted beyond words that Dr. Prothero has taken time away from his primary paleontological research to put down on paper all he knows about this multifarious movement. It’s a thankless job but someone has to do it, and the world is a better place for Don’s efforts. In particular, Prothero’s visual presentation of the fossil and genetic evidence for evolution is so unmistakably powerful that I venture to say that no one could read this book and still deny the reality of evolution. It happened. Deal with it.

Personally, I really enjoyed the book. There are a lot of books out there on evolution but this is the first I have read that deals strictly with what the fossil record tells us. At times it was technical and I had to read a chapter more than once to really comprehend what was being said. Nonetheless, anybody who has ever heard or said “Show me just one transitional fossil”, should read this book.

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