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The Fact of Evolution Paperback – May 24, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1616144418 ISBN-10: 1616144416 Edition: 1ST

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The Fact of Evolution + The Top 10 Myths About Evolution + The Evidence for Evolution
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; 1ST edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616144416
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616144418
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dozens of observed instances of speciation illustrate Smith's technical points about how environmental pressures force evolution forward...Also attentive to the historical development of evolutionary theory, Smith instills in his readers the provisional and exploratory character of science, encouraging them to make their own discoveries in the list of books and websites with which he closes."
-Booklist

About the Author

Cameron M. Smith, Ph.D. (Portland, OR), is a prehistorian at Portland State University’s Department of Anthropology and a popular science writer. He is the author of The Top Ten 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.

More About the Author

Educated in Africa, England, the USA and Canada, Dr. Cameron M. Smith teaches archaeology and human evolution at Portland State University and Linfield College. He has published in peer-reviewed research journals, written features for magazines including 'Scientific American', 'Scientific American MIND', 'OMNI', 'Cultural Survival' and 'Archaeology', and written several books. His award-winning travel writing has appeared in both magazines and anthologies. Away from his office, Cameron is an active SCUBA diver and paraglider pilot whose many expeditions have taken him from Africa to the Arctic. His most recent book is 'Emigrating Beyond Earth: Human Adaptation and Space Colonization' (Springer 2012). He is currently writing and illustrating an atlas of human prehistory (Fall 2014) and a technical foundation on the cultural and genetic issues involved in human space colonization (Fall 2016). You can find out more at his academic page: http://pdx.academia.edu/CameronMSmith.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Guy P. Harrison on June 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
"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 M. Smith has written an eloquent and fresh presentation of evolution as an obvious reality of our world. Those who understand evolution but want to know more about it will find much to think about. Those who reject modern biology for religious reasons will see the light if they read this book with open eyes and an honest mind.

--Guy P. Harrison, author of Race and Reality and 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Quinn on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book presents overwhelming evidence and arguments of why evolution is a fact of life on our planet. Each chapter clearly outlines the basic principles of what evolution is and how it happens. It's written incisively and persuasively and without the typical dogmatic tone commonly found in books about evolution. If you want to gain a straightforward understanding of evolution then read this book!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Fact of Evolution by Cameron M. Smith

"The Fact of Evolution" is a very instructive, accessible book about evolution. Backed by compelling scientific arguments, great illustrations and conveyed to reach the masses anthropologist Cameron M. Smith does a wonderful job of presenting the fact of evolution. This 346-page book is composed of the following nine chapters: 1. Nullis in Verba, 2. The Fact of Replication, 3. The Fact of Variation, 4. The Fact of Selection, 5. The Fact of Speciation, 6. The Fact of Evolution, 7. Evolution in Action, 8. The Mirror-House of Evolution, and 9. The Grand Illusion.

Positives:
1. A well written, accessible book about how evolution works.
2. A very well illustrated book. Many figures and tables to assist the reader.
3. Does a good job of defining scientific concepts.
4. Great easy to follow format.
5. A term that is embedded in my brain, "evolution is the consequence of three observable facts of replication, variation, and selection". Thank you.
6. DNA defined and illustrated.
7. The concepts of genotype and phenotype described exquisitely.
8. Sources and constraints of variation.
9. The best description of fitness I've read.
10. Very thorough chapter on how selection works and the many misconceptions about it.
11. The three most recognized modes of selection.
12. Speciation, well defined. Some interesting facts, "species is a stage in a process, not a static unit".
13. Modes of speciation.
14. A great section on observing speciation. The topic is worthy of a book.
15.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Agnotology on May 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't say enough good things about this book. It's simply a must-read for any budding biologists/geneticists or science enthusiast. Smith presents evolution as an inevitable consequence of selective pressures and variability among offspring, deconstructing the idea that evolution is a goal-oriented process or that it functions pantheistically as some driving force of speciation. Evolution is a consequence of reproduction, variation, and selection. With over a century of evidence to support it, evolution is a scientific fact, and the onus of proof in the 21st century is on the anti-evolutionists, not the other way around. Smith cogently argues that it must happen, and challenges the "it"-ness that leads to the misconception that evolution has agency.

The book is full of interesting figures and fantastic examples of evolution's effects in the natural world, that are both informational and easy to read. I read it cover to cover in a two days and was eager to revisit it once I had finished. The book would be a great addition to the library of any educator and provides great ammunition for those scientifically-minded folks who find themselves mired in the trenches of debates concerning evolution's scientific legitimacy, relevance in the classroom, and implications for the place of humanity on the grandest scale.

A great read, and no doubt a sign of other great works to come from this author!
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