Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blog Tour Review: The Evolution Conspiracy by Lisa A. Shiel

Title: The Evolution Conspiracy

Author: Lisa A. Shiel

Rating: 1/2

Who Should Read It? Anyone who has ever been interested in evolution; anyone who has ever questioned.

What I Have to Say: This book was decidedly informative. In some ways it read like a text book, but at the same time it made me laugh, and there were times when I was so interested that I really felt like I couldn't put it down.
When it comes to evolution, Lisa A. Shiel really does know what she's talking about. She presents her points in clear, concise chapters, using words and a writing style that are easily accessible to the layman. She tried to stay neutral, and for the most part, she did a good job of this. Occasionally, though, she would sarcastically refer to Darwin as "the evolutionist's god, Darwin" or she would say negative things about evolutionists from a standpoint that was obviously bitter as opposed to factual. This bothered me slightly, but it in no way negated her arguments. She also has a clear and concise biblography at the end of every chapter and a glossary at the end of the book, for some of the more difficult terms.
As a child, I never learned evolution (or creationism, for that matter) in school, and I have therefore never understood it to be fact. It's something that scientists think about, that they would like to prove, but that they are unable to prove. After reading this book, I have a much better understanding of why they are unable to prove it. And how they hide this inability from the layman, masking the incongruities with their fancy talk. Unfortunately, a lot what she said seemed to be based on the idea that EVERYONE is taught evolution as fact when they are in grade school. I wasn't, so this didn't really click for me.
Shiel concludes with "Evolutionists must stretch, manipulate, and outright ignore evidence to shore up established theories about life's origins and expansions. Myriad problems plague the research." If this is what she set out to prove, she succeeded. She more than succeeded. If, however, she set out to prove that there is no way that evolution could exist, she didn't quite reach her goal.
I found this book exciting, and I learned so much from it, things that I have always wondered about. This book is for anyone who ever wanted to know a thing or two about evolution.

Summary (from GoodReads):Evolution. One word, deceptive in its simplicity, has transformed the way we look at ourselves and everything around us. Once thought of as unique, man has become one of the animals with no special claim on the planet. As children, few of us question what we learn in biology class about the origins of life and the position man holds in the hierarchy. Science textbooks present evolution as fact--indisputable, inevitable, and incomprehensible to everyone outside the exalted few with PhDs in the appropriate fields.

Yet this book promotes one key premise--anyone can understand evolution.

Evolutionists focus their defensive efforts on Creationist claims, giving the impression that nobody except religious zealots disputes evolution. Shiel approaches the subject from a different perspective. Instead of criticizing evolution in an effort to promote my personal beliefs, I've chosen to critique evolutionary theories and the evidence attached to them through a secular lens.

Read. Think. Decide for yourself.

"Shiel is consistently convincing...evolutionary scientists have circumvented the true scientific method."--Dr. Quinton R. Rogers, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Dept of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis

"A decidedly irreverent view of evolution...[Shiel] translates the off-putting jargon while outlining some major scientific hypotheses, warts and all."--Tyler A. Kokjohn, PhD, professor of microbiology, Midwestern University

"This book takes a fresh look at evolution, time, and human origins... I do completely agree that the evolutionary presuppositions of our age stand in dire need of a thorough scientific reevaluation."--Paul Abramson, editor, Creationism.org

"Shiel systematically dismantles the arguments that have long been the cornerstone of Darwinian hegemony in the biological sciences in workmanlike fashion, illustrating exactly what is wrong with the theory in a compelling and easy-to-understand text. A triumph of logic over dogma!"--Timothy Birdnow, freelance writer & American Daily Review blogger


Disclosure: This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

Final Question: At one point in the book, so shows pictures of the skulls of several different Hominids. She also regularly talked about what exactly a species is and how scientists are never in agreement about this. Some scientists, she said, would classify different sized humans as different species if they found our bones in the future. So my question is this - several million years in the future, do you think scientist will find human bones and classify Caucasians, Asians, and Africans as being from different species? Does the idea of this happening make you laugh or does it disgust you? Or whatever else? I think it's hilarious to think about. I was glad she broached this subject in the book, because it is something I have always wondered about.

6 comments:

La Coccinelle said...

What does the author believe? I looked at some other sources, and she states she doesn't believe in evolution. So what does she believe in? Creationism? And if she doesn't believe in evolution because the science doesn't support it, how can she believe in something like Creationism that is supported even less by science?

As for scientists of the future classifying the races as different species... I doubt it. There will be evidence of a lot of "in-between" skeletons thanks to interracial coupling. And since the races can interbreed and produce fertile offspring, they probably wouldn't be considered different species.

evolutionconspiracy said...

I purposely keep my beliefs out of the book, for two reasons. First, the book is designed to help people make up their own minds. Second, I have no particular beliefs about how life came to be on this planet (we can't know anything about other planets yet). I am not a creationist. I believe in God, but that has nothing to do with my book.

Will there be lots of "in-between" skeletons for future paleontologists to use in studying us? That depends on how far in the future we go. Even going back a few thousand years we don't have tons of skeletons. We can't know how many of our skeletons will survive the eons. But it is fun to speculate!

Lisa A. Shiel
author of The Evolution Conspiracy

brizmus said...

Lisa, I was going to respond the same thing you did, but you got to it first.

Lisa really does do a great job and not bringing her beliefs into the book. They are completely unimportant when it comes to getting her point across; that's not what it's about.
It was more about saying that we should step back and question before just believing because a lot of what is presented to us as true is pure sperculation and sometimes even contradictory to what we do know to be true.

I think one of the things that makes me believe that they might classify us is different species is that they won't know. They might find just our skulls and know nothing about us other than that they are different sizes and somewhat different shapes. They won't know anything about whether or not we could interbreed.

Anyhow, what's so interesting about all this to me is that it really is just speculation. We can't actually know.

evolutionconspiracy said...

"They might find just our skulls and know nothing about us other than that they are different sizes and somewhat different shapes."

This is in fact exactly what happens with ancient remains, such as Homo habilis. Different sizes of bones often get assigned to different species, whether they actually should be or not. If all our records die with us future paleontologists may have no clue how to classify us.

Lisa A. Shiel
author of The Evolution Conspiracy

Rhiannon Hart said...

"Conspiracy"!

I would like to read a scientist's deconstruction and criticism of this theory.

Lucía said...

It's looks interesting, a book to think about

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