Prometheus Books, $18.00, 250 pages
The process of evolution is well established as a fact in science. Cameron Smith’s The Fact of Evolution explains the scientific process of evolution, without becoming pedantic, without ‘dumbing-down’ the subject. He argues, point by point, specifically how the process works, as he puts it, not as a noun — an object deliberately working towards an end, but as a consequence of the processes of life.
Why is evolution so misunderstood? It’s the politicization of science that has allowed some to attack evolution in the name of Creationism. He argues that the word “theory” has been misconstrued, (deliberately so by some) to mean that the process is an unsubstantiated guess, that as a guess, the theory lacks credibility. He argues that those who would ignore evolution have a specific world-view that precludes the idea that human life has no intrinsic special place in creation. I admire the book, and I found it easily understandable, and entertaining, but I’m quite certain that Dr. Smith is preaching to the choir. Even a well-written book like this will not sway those that willfully believe otherwise. For those who would seek to understand basic biological principals, this book is a nice primer on the subject.
Reviewed by Brad Wright