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Evolution Under the Microscope: A Scientific Critique of the Theory of Evolution

David Swift

Leighton Academic Press, (Softcover edition), 423 pages, 2002

Item# B085
Suggested Donation:
$12.50 (includes USPS Media Mail shipping to addresses in US only)
$22.50 (includes international air shipping to all foreign addresses)

ISBN: 0954358902

The Intelligent Design movement appears at times to be primarily an American phenomenon, no doubt driven by our unique political, religious and educational situation. However, from time-to-time a significant book appears from another continent, adding fuel to the growing ID firestorm. The classic example is Australian biologist Michael Denton and his foundational book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Another example has just surfaced in the UK by David Swift entitled Evolution under the Microscope: a scientific critique of the theory of evolution. Swift's critique of Darwinian evolution appears almost independent of the ID movement and the U.S. issues. Instead he comes at the topic as a scientist that was once content with evolution theory, but who grew increasingly frustrated with a theory that could not account for the modern evidence of molecular biology.

In this thought-provoking and exhaustive text, Swift conducts a critical examination of the science of evolution. Because the theory of evolution relates to our origins it has far wider implications than just being the leading explanatory principle of biology. This, of course, is why it is still debated well over a century after Darwin.

Swift shows convincingly that what we have discovered in the last 50 years of biochemistry presents insurmountable hurdles to the current widely-accepted evolutionary explanation for the complexity of biology at the molecular level, posing fundamental challenges to the theory. At the same time, Swift does not argue from or in defense of what the Bible (or any other religious text) may say on the matter. Neither is it typical 'creation science', for example he accepts that the earth is billions of years old. He also completely agrees with the principle of natural selection, and the possibility that substantial progress, even limited 'apparent design', could arise through the accumulation (by the operation of natural selection) of a series of advantageous variations.

This thoroughly researched book is a must for any one with a serious interest in the subject of evolution. It successfully tackles the scientific issues at an appropriate level for consideration by professional biologists, and at the same time makes the subject accessible to the more general reader. This book will likely rattle a few cages in UK universities and cause Richard Dawkins to tour the kingdom to assure the masses that all is still well in the land of Darwinian evolution.

About the Author
David Swift graduated in Natural Sciences from St John's College, Cambridge in 1974 and subsequently obtained an MSc in Water Resources Technology from the University of Birmingham. His research has encompassed many aspects of the hydrological cycle, and he lectures on a range of environmental concerns.

Table of Contents


1. Trial and Error

  • The dawn of science
  • The Middle Ages
  • Revival of learning
  • Empirical science emerges

2. Revolutions and Revolutionaries

  • Early astronomy
  • The Copernican revolution
  • The Newtonian revolution

3. Time and Tide

  • The Christian era
  • The fossil enigma
  • Cosmic evolution
  • Geology comes of age
  • A new perspective

4. Fauna and Flora

  • Biology before the scientific revolution
  • Biology of the scientific revolution
  • Evolution

5. Parents and Offspring

  • Hereditary mechanisms
  • Population genetics
  • Neo-Darwinism

6. Nuts and Bolts

  • Deoxyribonucleic acid
  • Gene expression
  • Proteins
  • Evolution: the modern synthesis

7. Chance and Necessity

  • The improbability of biological macromolecules
  • Current theories of protein evolution
  • Failings of current theories
  • The evolution of macromolecules

8. Chance and Complexity

  • DNA replication
  • Transcription
  • Biosynthetic pathways
  • Biological machines
  • Complexity

9. Variation and Variability

  • Adaptation and speciation
  • Evolution is a multi-step process
  • Evolution within limits

10. Gaps and Gradations

  • The missing records
  • Patterns in the fossil record
  • Explaining the facts

11. New Wine and Old Wineskins

  • Morphogenesis
  • Quantum biology

12. Homology and Phylogeny

  • Recapitulation
  • Cladistics

13. Chicken and Egg

  • Primitive macromolecules
  • The genetic code
  • Early enzymes
  • Eukaryotes from prokaryotes

14. Sense and Sensibility

  • The scientific method
  • The paradigm of evolution
  • A view from outside the paradigm

15. Pride and Prejudice

  • The modern scientific world-view
  • Design
  • Objections to design

Appendix 1: Stratigraphical column
Appendix 2: Classification of animals

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