REVIEWS FROM THE REV: “The Top 10 Myths About Evolution” by Cameron M. Smith and Charles Sullivan.

Biographical material from the publisher’s website:

“Cameron M. Smith, Ph.D. (Portland, OR) is an adjunct faculty associate at Portland State University’s department of anthropology and a popular science writer who has published articles in Scientific American MIND, Archaeology, Playboy, Spaceflight, Skeptical Inquirer, The Writer, and other publications.

Charles Sullivan (Portland, OR) has graduate degrees in philosophy and English and is an adjunct faculty member in Portland Community College’s writing department. He has published articles with Cameron M. Smith in Playboy, Skeptical Inquirer, and The Writer.”

How could I pass up such an appealing little book that offered such a concise summation of the most common mis-perceptions about evolution?  Well, I couldn’t.  Didn’t even try.  And although I found myself thinking that I’ve read better writing on the subject (and better dissections of what the Theory of Evolution is really all about), this book soon grew on me.  My affection for it is based — at least in part — upon the authors’ unflinching approach to their mission: stripping bare the hobby-horse chargers that are often sent in to battle the flesh and blood steeds of science.

Mythology is endemic and persistent among us humans, this much is clear.  But as this book takes on the most popular myths regarding evolution, one by one, one of the things that is revealed is just how far back in history some of these myths go.  One would easily conclude (were he or she to take humans to be consistently rational creatures) that once the scientific evidence began to mount that religion’s long hold on historical and scientific veracity was built upon nothing but made-up stories, people would drop the mythology and accept the evidence.  We all know this is not what has occurred.  In fact, resistance to science is alive and well (and some days seems to be increasing) in our own time.

Now the authors make it clear that science and evolution have nothing to say on the matter of the existence of god or any supernatural force.  However, because so many of the attacks on reason, science and the Theory of Evolution are based in religious belief, one can’t defend science without disturbing religion.  And so it goes here, especially in the final chapters that deal with the 8th, 9th and 10th myths (“Creationism Disproves Evolution”, “Intelligent Design is Science” and “Evolution is Immoral”).

On the whole, I can recommend this short book as a good primer on what evolution actually does and does not say about life on Earth.  And to tempt you a bit more, let me list the remaining 7 myths not mentioned so far: 1: Survival of the Fittest; 2: It’s Just a Theory; 3: The Ladder of Progress; 4: The Missing Link; 5: Evolution is Random; 6: People Come from Monkeys; 7: Nature’s Perfect Balance.

Happy reading!

t.n.s.r. bob

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3 Responses to “REVIEWS FROM THE REV: “The Top 10 Myths About Evolution” by Cameron M. Smith and Charles Sullivan.”

  1. Dear Rev; Many thanks for your favorable review of our book! I am thrilled to say it is in over 800 libraries worldwide, now, and has sold over 10,000 copies; while that is not a blockbuster (i don;t care about the money, I just want to get the word out!) it is great to know it is a respectable number for our work.

    You might enjoy my forthcoming book, ‘The Fact of Evolution’ (also on Prometheus website) which is just in final editing now and available I believe in May. The Top Ten Myths told, from our view, what evolution is not, but in this book I tell what it is. My logic is that evolution is simply the unintended consequence of the biological facts of replication, variation and selection, and ergo is itself an undeniable fact. My aim is to make that clear for the same wide audience.

    Thanks for taking an interest in The Top Ten Myths — I am thrilled to say it has even been translated into Italian!

    Regards
    Cameron

  2. bobdiven says:

    Dear Cameron,

    You’re very welcome, and thanks for creating the book in the first place. I’m looking forward to reading your new book. Your logic is my logic!

    All the best!

    t.n.s.r. bob

  3. bobdiven says:

    Dear Cameron,

    You’re very welcome, and thanks for creating the book in the first place. I’m looking forward to reading your new book. Your logic is my logic!

    All the best!

    t.n.s.r. bob