Creation and evolution. Myth or reality By N.D. Newell. New York Columbia University Press. 1982. xxxii + 199 pp. figures tables references. $19код для вставкиСкачать
228 BOOK REVIEWS discussion of the reasons why timber wolves are so like the Tasmanian wolf. The similarity is illustrated by what must be a poor drawing as the two don’t look alike to this reviewer (p. 177). This similarity can’t be due to adaptation to similar environments, but “it is far more probable that there is some kind of wolf ‘blueprint‘ that determines they shall evolve as wolves” (p. 180). Of course the blueprint can’t resemble DNA, but just what it is isn‘t clear. This “new biology” has not made much headway for, “as we know, the overwhelming weight of research during this century has been in the hands of the population geneticists and the funding of it continues to be so. They have, as one mathematician said, ‘cornered the market.‘ I think this blanket of orthodoxy, stifling alternative approaches, is one of the positively harmful effects of a century and more of uncritical devotion to Darwin” (p. 196). Chapter 8, “Monkey Business,” is concerned with the course of human evolution. Here we do find out about Haeckel’s frauds and forgeries in establishing his biogenetic law. The missing link in Haeckel’s and Darwin’s concept was supplied by Haeckel’s student E. Dubois. Just how this could be when Haeckel was at Jena and Dubois a t Amsterdam I don’t know. But it is even harder to understand how Dubois could have given a paper on his important find in 1849 when he wasn’t born until 1858. But that is a small point. We also find that there are serious questions concerning the authenticity of Peking CREATION AND EVOLUTION. MYTH OR REALITY? By N.D. Newell. New York: Columbia University Press. 1982. xxxii + 199 pp., figures, tables, references. $ 19.95 (cloth). This book is a refutation of creationist arguments against and a presentation of scientific evidence for organic evolution from the point of view of a paleontologist. In general, Newell is concerned with the way in which the paleontological reconstruction of the course of evolution is at variance with the creationists’ literal interpretation of Genesis. Although Newell is obviously familiar with neo-Darwinian concepts of causation, this is not his major concern. Instead, “The immediate question is whether ‘crea- Man or Woman. In fact the original fossils may have disappeared so as to conceal the inaccuracies in the reconstruction of “Nellie.” There is a review of Nebraska Man and, of course, Piltdown, to be immediately followed by a discussion of Johanson’s “Lucy.” Apparently the protein clock of Wilson and Sarich is very good as are the various concepts of the cladistic school. Strangely enough, the recent evolution exhibit a t the British Museum comes under considerable criticism. The final chapter, “Darwin’s Legacy,” is a short biography of Darwin with emphasis on his failure to give credit to others for ideas. The book concludes: “The new biology is looking afresh a t living things-at their shapes, their patterns, their dynamics and their relationships. If, after more than a century, natural selection has been tested and found wanting, and if we are left once again with a sense of ignorance about origins, Darwin would not have minded. Science is a voyage of discovery, and beyond each horizon there is another.” After reading this book I am not sure Darwin went wrong. Perhaps Hitching did not go wrong. But I have serious doubts about the publisher. JAMES A. GAVAN University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri tionism’ should be regarded as a scientific theory and be taught in public schools together with, or in place of, a scientific theory of the universe and life on earth” (p. xxix). With this problem in mind, the author’s emphasis throughout the book is appropriate. The first three chapters deal with such questions as, Who are the creationists? What is their point of view? What is science? Can the creationists’ view be scientific? Why do people, in a supposedly highly educated and technologically sophisticated society, accept pseudo-scientific interpretations of the universe? At the same time Newell is obviously not an antireligious man. “The sciences . . . can determine much of what happened long ago: How, where, and when events occurred. But BOOK REVIEWS they cannot discover the purpose or destiny of human existence. These ideas lie in the mind of each individual-and are the domain of religion, morality, and philosophy” (p. xxxii). Science has its limitations, and we are reminded of the admonition concerning Caesar’s share of the world. Each of the following 11 chapters considers, and scientifically refutes, a creationists’ argument. Each chapter opens with a quotation from a scientist and one from a creationist, ably demonstrating the theological orientation of the latter. The discussion of Noah’s flood and other catastrophes illustrates Newell’s general approach to the problem. There have been floods and catastrophes in the past. What evidence have they left? Does such evidence exist on a worldwide scale? To what extent does the Grand Canyon contain evidence of being produced by a gigantic flood? The author finds no such evidence, and the creationists produce none. Along with current scientific evidence, Newell presents brief histories of scientific advances. Of particular interest is the discussion of the development of the geologic time scale. In its main outline, this not only was established prior to the Darwinian revo- 229 lution but also was developed by scientists who accepted a literal interpretation of Genesis, an interesting point omitted by the creationists. There are probably few bits of information contained in this book that are unknown to the general scientific community. The book’s value lies not in evidence presented but in the organization of that evidence to refute a pseudo-scientific argument. The creationists’ view is not one that will go away peacefully, as any brief review of legislative activity since the Scopes trial demonstrates. Nor is this a n argument that science can safely ignore, for “the implications of this question involve our attitudes toward the nature, origin, and history of the universe-scientific cosmology-and even freedom of thought” (p. xxix). This is not an obtuse, academic question; it is one which involves the entire educational process in this and every other country. Be prepared; read this book before you debate a creationist. JAMESA. GAVAN University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri PREHISTORIC TUBERCULOSIS IN THE AMERI- group of zoo-reared chimpanzees. Thus only five articles are primarily concerned with CAS. Edited by J. E. Buikstra. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Archeological Program. 1981. xii + 182 pp., figures, tables, index. $14.50 (paper). Since infectious diseases represent significant challenges t o human populations, any work presenting data on the history of tuberculosis should attract wide interest. Prehistoric Tuberculosis in the Americas does offer some important new information on the paleopathological expression of TB in skeletal and mummified material from the pre-Columbian New World. However, the title promises more than is delivered by this collection of ten articles (plus a n introduction). Of the ten contributions, two deal with modern clinicaliepidemiological contexts, one is an experiment with artificially mummified tissue derived from cadavers, one deals with macerated remains from a dissecting room population, and one anomalous offering discusses fungal infection in the bones from a prehistoric tuberculosis in the Americas (one dealing partly with mummified tissue and the other four exclusively with skeletal remains). In the preface Buikstra promises to present an integrated medical and anthropological focus, yet with only a few exceptions this oal is not attained. Medical expertise is coni?ributed by a microbiologist (Shadomy) and an immunochemist (Daniel). In neither case, however, is much useful information presented. Shadomy contributes a clear discussion of differential diagnosis of fungal infections, but there is little here not already in the paleopathological literature. Daniel offers some useful data comparing pulmonary incidence of TB with skeletal TB. Most of the article, however, concerns itself with admittedly biased sample data concerning epidemiological patterns in recent publications. If medical expertise useful to paleopathologists was the aim, contributions by pathologists andor radiologists would have been more appropriate.