Over the past 20 years, paleontologists have made tremendous fossil discoveries, including fossils that mark the growth of whales, manatees, and seals from land mammals and the origins of elephants, horses, and rhinos. Today there exists an amazing diversity of fossil humans, suggesting we walked upright long before we acquired large brains, and new evidence from molecules that enable scientists to decipher the tree of life as never before.
The fossil record is now one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution. In this engaging audiobook, Donald R. Prothero weaves an entertaining though intellectually rigorous history out of the transitional forms and series that dot the fossil record. Beginning with a brief discussion of the nature of science and the "monkey business of creationism". Prothero tackles subjects ranging from flood geology and rock dating to neo-Darwinism and macroevolution. He covers the ingredients of the primordial soup, the effects of communal living, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, the mammalian explosion, and the leap from chimpanzee to human. Prothero pays particular attention to the recent discovery of "missing links" that complete the fossil timeline and details the debate between biologists over the mechanisms driving the evolutionary process.
Evolution is an absorbing combination of firsthand observation, scientific discovery, and trenchant analysis. With the teaching of evolution still an issue, there couldn't be a better moment for a book clarifying the nature and value of fossil evidence. Widely recognized as a leading expert in his field, Prothero demonstrates that the transformation of life on this planet is far more awe inspiring than the narrow view of extremists.
This captivating downloadable audio version of Evolution has been specially adapted from the print version by the author.
©2007 Columbia University Press (P)2014 Audible Inc.
it was good, the guy is wonderfully condescending to creationism. he logically and scientifically backs his statements and explains it in digestible points. great for those looking for logical arguments.
I own the hardcopy of this and It's a great book. But what I love about the book is all the discussion of the actual fossils. This audio edition has cut all that out and only consists of the creation debunking. In fact, that's my criticism of the full hardcopy - why is t necessary to include all that anyways. So, one can imagine my disappointment to learn that this audio edition only contains the parts of the book I don't care about. If you want a great discussion about why creationism "science" is nonsense, this will be a good listen; if you're looking for the discussions about fossils - its not here, buy the hardcopy.
This book spends too much time discussing things other than "what the fossils say" and not enough time describing the fossil evidence. Perhaps the best part is the discussion of the geology of the Grand Canyon and how it is utterly inconsistent with the biblical flood myth. The only somewhat detailed discussion of fossils is of those in the recent human lineage. Even here, there really isn't a good description of how features of these fossils demonstrate evolution.
The author also seems to be unable to correctly convert metric and English units, e.g., for distances.
I thought I was buying a book about the latest evidence on evolution through the fossil record - always a controversial subject. Instead I had to sit through chapter after chapter of creation bashing and endless quotes by Michael Shermer - hardly a leading authority on geology.
If you are looking for original thinking or new information on geology and evolution you will not find it here.
If, on the other hand, you have a lot of friends trying to convert you to creationism this is the perfect reference book with which to pummel them!
Prothero starts off warning the reader never to listen to someone talk about subjects that they do not have degrees in or extensive experience with. Then he proceeds to lay down the law on such diverse subjects such as UFOs, Big Foot, Astrology, Biblical History, Cosmology, etc., etc. All I wanted to hear was his information on Geology and Evolution - his main area of expertise.
When he finally finishes with the creationist bashing and starts talking about the fossil record it is to explain why they are so many gaps and that it is normal that we don't have complete information, blah, blah, blah.
Next he spends endless time disproving "great flood geology" - as if this is new information or that anyone buying this book actually believes this.
It is amazing that these guys can build an entire industry around ridiculing the creationists.
Let's move on from these childish debates and talk about science and new ideas about nature and how it all fits together!
Give me data and intelligent analysis - not dogma and negative arguments about other people's beliefs!
This book focused more on how creationist are small-minded and just plain wrong rather than just explaining the facts. I believe in evolution and would have liked to have heard more about the fossil evidence and less of his rantings on how creationists are responsible for American studentsbeing so far behind in science compared to most countries.
It made me angry with creationists anti-scientific view point and angry that I bought this book because of its limited scientific content.
First, this is a well written and largely accessible book. A fine place to start for any reader yet undecided about the facts of evolution and the debate around intelligent design. That being said, and a career paleobiologist and historical ecologist, it was a pretty tired story, rehashed in half a dozen other books. What i had hoped for was a much stronger defense, history, and science of the fossil record. The author uses Darwin's chapters on the fossil record as a jumping off point, but hardly does any better a job explaining why the patterns we see are what we'd expect, and to the less informed reader, this nuance may pass completely overhead. The fossil record is full of amazing stories, both about the history of life on earth and the people who discover and reconstruct it. But this book fails to bring them to life. It's fine for what it is, easy to read and well reasoned. But not particularly exciting.
There are 1000 books debating christianity. I had hoped this book would not be about this. I wanted a legitimate book about the fossil record, about evolution -- this book is OBSESSED with debating christianity. I'm not a christian, I don't care, i wanted to learn something new about evolution, about fossils! Why the hell do i want to listen to 7 hours about how silly christianity is?
Utterly boring. I do not recommend this book.
I am generally very interested in reading about progressive perspectives in evolution (providing the most up to date evidence) and generally not very interested in reading about the creationist - evolution debate. We spend too much time allowing creationist myths to be an anchor that keeps us from furthering a real scientific discussion. Even though the backdrop is answering to creationists, I still enjoyed the great summary of evidence for evolution. I would like to have seen him spend more time on genetic switches and address epigenetic changes. But, this brief read was definitely worth it. The thing I enjoyed most was his focus on how gene-centered evolution is far too myopic. It's time to expand the discussion.
For those interested in the creationist - evolution debate, this is must read.
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