Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters

Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters

Over the past twenty 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 and richly illustrated book, 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.

Title:Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780231139625
Format Type:

    Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters Reviews

  • Daniel Bastian

    “Evolution is happening all around us. It happens every time a new germ invades your body, a new pest or weed destroys our crops, or a new insecticide-resistant fly or mosquito bites you. Creationis...

  • Steve Van Slyke

    It's my own fault that I did not read the book description or the other reviews here closer. I didn't get the impression from the book description that so much of it would be devoted to countering the...

  • Ross

    This is a very scholarly book, equivalent to a university level text covering an overview of the origin of life on Earth. It has been written as a definitive rebuttal to the assertions of creationists...

  • Chris Branch

    I sincerely hope that I never again read or hear an argument against the truth of evolution based on the lack of transitional fossils - or so-called "missing links" - from anyone who hasn't read this ...

  • John

    "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters" is the best book I have ever read emphasizing the importance of the fossil record as the indisputable "facts" of biological evolution, documenting ...

  • Jennifer

    My second book on evolution (the first was Dawkins The Greatest Show on Earth). This one is probably a bit more palatable to those with a creationist background, since Prothero is at least a theistic ...

  • Adam Smith

    Fascinating read. Very enlightening on the subject. I mainly bought this book because I thought it would cover some of the more unique factors and discoveries within evolutional history. While it does...

  • Book

    Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters by Donald R. Prothero“Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters" is an outstanding book that focuses on the fossil record as strong eviden...

  • Ian Murphy

    An absolutely fantastic read, clear and concise and a great book for both laypersons and experts alike...

  • Sarah

    I think a more appropriate subtitle of this book would have been "Creationists Can't Be Bothered." Having been one and having spent some of that time trying to sort out why everybody thought the way t...