Comments: 3
Hmm -- would this be a book for the Flat Book Society ... or maybe a bit too superficial?

If the latter, is there another, similar book you'd recommend instead?
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
I don't really know. It didn't say anything I didn't know, but it did put things in perspective that maybe other people aren't aware of, especially in terms of what the fossil record is all about and what evolution actually is according to darwin, and what other people erronously make it out to be. For this sort of thing it provided the best, non-convoluted explanation I've come across in years. I enjoyed this book much more than anything Richard Dawkins wrote (boring, long-winded, repetitive, condescending, and his computer model doesn't actually prove what he thinks it proves). There is a chapter on dinosaurs and another chapter or two on human evolution in terms of fossil finds (which is the best I've ever come across, even comparing to a whole book on the subject) and then 5 chapters on anthropology, various human evolution hypotheses, and why humans aren't really "special". It's also a univeristy publication so tends to be expensive for a 240 page paperback, unless you can borrow from the library. It would have received a highter rating but I don't agree 100% with everything the author wrote, and he also left out epigenetics (book may be too old for that) so...?

It's an excellent introductory text. Every 12 year old should read this before they start picking up all sorts of other funny ideas about evolution and the fossil record. That said, it's not a children's book. The author actually assumes his readers have more than two brain cells to rub together.

There isn't really another book I would recommend instead. Nothing I've read (that isn't a text book) deals with hominin/homo fossil evidence or what Darwin really meant (descent with modification) rather than evolution (it's actually 2 different meanings that get merged, which causes problems). The anthropology and human evolution was dealt with in "Humanimal: How Homo sapiens Became Nature’s Most Paradoxical Creature—A New Evolutionary History" by Adam Rutherford and "The Ape That Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve" by Steve Stewart-Williams. I preferred "The Ape That Understood the Universe" to "Humanimal".

Sorry for the long diatribe. ;)


I don't mind in the least; much to the contrary! Everything you're saying seems to argue in favor of adding it to the Flat Book Society list. Maybe along with either or both of the alternative books you mentioned at the end!