Monday, 3 November 2008

Donald R. Prothero: Evolution – What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters

This book presents a sheer cliff face of overwhelming evidence all consistently backing up Darwin’s great theory. The book begins by explaining the scientific method and how a hypothesis is peer reviewed, tested and supported by incontrovertible evidence in order to form an accepted theory such as gravity or evolution. Having defined the scientific method and contrasted it with the dogmatic authoritative method of the Intelligent Designers / Creationist, Prothero then sets off on a whistle stop tour of the fossil record. At each point he identifies the key fossils and explains the relevance and importance of each fossil. My favourite thing about the book is however his writing style and his incessant ability to point out the Creationists misconceptions, ignorance and in many cases out right lies. He shows the arguments given by the creationists and then explains why they are wrong, or how they have misquoted a piece of science or taken something out of context by panning the camera back to show the full context. Prothero’s frustration with the ignorance, and dishonest spin of the creationist is evident throughout, and as I went through the pages learning of the ever growing fossil record I began to share his frustration. The only possible way in which you could read this book, and still believe in creationism is to totally reject logic, reason and crushing evidence and the only thing powerful enough to contradict that is blind indoctrinated faith.
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