Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution 

The Fact of Evolution

Popular Science

By: Cameron M Smith(Author)

280 pages, photos

Prometheus Books

Paperback | May 2011 | #227235 | ISBN-13: 9781616144418
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £13.99 $19/€16 approx

About this book

Evolution is often described as a "theory." While this is certainly technically true, it is misleading to dismiss evolution as "just a theory" (an unfounded idea), as opponents of evolution like to do. In this illuminating work of popular science, anthropologist Cameron M. Smith amply demonstrates that there are few more well-established facts in the scientific canon than that life evolved on earth.

Walking the reader through the steps in the evolutionary process, Cameron uses plenty of real-world examples to show that not only does evolution happen, it must happen. Cameron analyzes evolution as the unintended consequence of three independent facts of the natural world that we can observe every day: (1) the fact of the replication of life forms (producing offspring); (2) the fact that offspring are not identical (variation); and (3) the fact that not all offspring survive (selection). Viewed in terms of this analysis, evolution is no longer debatable; in fact it has to occur. It is simply the inevitable consequence of three obvious, observable, factual natural phenomena.

The Fact of Evolution also covers new discoveries in evolution, many of which have occurred in the last twenty years of the "genomic revolution" and have strengthened Darwin's basic idea. In addition, the author discusses complex theoretical issues such as speciation, phyletic gradualism vs. punctuated equilibrium, the "Evo-Devo" paradigm, and the concept of bauplane, as well as the facts of primate and hominid evolution.

Well-organized, clearly written, and accessible, The Fact of Evolution is ideal for students or any interested lay readers.

"The Fact of Evolution is a relentless landslide of evidence and logic that buries the nonsense notion that life does not evolve. Smith makes the brilliant and enlightening case that evolution is not a thing but an inevitable consequence of replication, variation, and selection. 'Evolution doesn't just happen,' he writes, 'it has to happen.' Cameron Smith has written an eloquent and fresh presentation of evolution as an obvious reality of our world."
– Guy P. Harrison, author of Race and Reality and 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God

"Spread the Word: Evolution is a scientific fact [...] ."
Nature (January 2008)

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Cameron M. Smith, Ph.D., is a prehistorian at Portland State University’s Department of Anthropology and a popular science writer. He is the author of The Top 10 Myths about Evolution (with Charles Sullivan) and, in addition to his scientific works, has published articles in Scientific American MIND, Archaeology, Playboy, Spaceflight, Skeptical Inquirer, and The Writer.

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