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Evolution under the microscope

Most books that criticise evolution are written by creationist Christians and usually contain a mixture of unconvincing science based on atypical examples. This book is different. The author fully accepts both the process of natural selection and the age of the earth as being about five billion years old, but what he does do, is to raise serious questions about Neo-Darwinianism as it is supposed to operate at the molecular level.

Evolution under the Microscope

David Swift

Leighton Academic Press

Paperback 423 pages

no illustrations

ISBN 0954358902

£10.00 from bookshops

David Swift's central argument rests on the fact that biological molecules, DNA, RNA, genes, proteins and enzymes, are all highly specific, complex and operate as parts of a complete system. He shows, through numerous examples, that it is impossible for such complex systems to arise through small successive changes. For example, a partly developed protein would not simply work badly, it simply would not work at all. The implication of this is to show that evolution in terms of small mutations fails at the first hurdle.

The author, while accepting natural selection as an evolutionary mechanism, does not try to provide a mechanism for major evolutionary changes. What he does do is to show that Neo-darwinism, has reached a point where it is now hindering rather than helping new advances in our scientific understanding of the subject. This book is very important for all those anthropologists and paleontologists who are concerned by a lack of continuity in their fossil records. The spirit of the book is exemplified by its ending - a quotation by Thomas Huxley:

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, following humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.

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