Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters

Donald R. Prothero, Author, Carl Buell, Illustrator . Columbia Univ. $29.50 (408p) ISBN 978-0-231-13962-5

Prothero, a geologist at Occidental College (After the Dinosaurs ), explains how rich the fossil record has become. His goal is two-fold. First, he wants to demonstrate the wide variety of transitional forms that have been found, many within the past 20 years. Second, he aims to discredit the creationist movement. “I have tried to document how they routinely distort or deny the evidence, quote out of context, and do many other dishonest and unethical things—all in the name of pushing their crusade.” He accomplishes both of his goals (though he can be repetitious regarding the creationists), and his descriptions of recent research, much of it his own, are compelling. Prothero explains that the Cambrian explosion of life forms was anything but an explosion, and presents the impressive transitional fossils between reptiles and birds, along with striking evidence for mammalian evolution, including the relationship among hominid groups. With good science and some specific rebuttals to creationist arguments, this book demonstrates the importance of paleontology to the study of evolution. 208 illus. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/03/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 408 pages - 978-0-231-51142-1
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