An Evolutionary Psychology [chapter]

Edward S. Reed
1997 Encountering the WorldToward an Ecological Psychology  
In The Evidence for Evolution, University of Utah anthropologist Alan R. Rogers provides a concise and readable summary of several of the most important classes of evidence that support Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. The Evidence for Evolution appears to be intended for an audience of college-educated individuals who have been introduced to science. In the introductory chapter, however, Rogers comments that, - [Scientists] tend to emphasize what we find interesting and to
more » ... teresting and to gloss over the rest... [S]tudents learn a lot about the mechanisms of evolution but only a little about the evidence that evolution really happens‖ (pp. 3-4). This comment suggests that Rogers's intended audience includes people who have completed a university course in evolution that did not provide an adequate summary of the evidence for evolution. Rogers's audience therefore appears to include two groups. The first group includes college-educated people interested in learning about the evidence for evolution. The second group includes students in university courses addressing the theory of evolution. If such courses do not provide an adequate account of the evidence for evolution, Rogers's book is an excellent supplement. A notable feature of The Evidence for Evolution is that it is just over 100 pages of text. Rogers thus presents a remarkably concise account of the evidence for one of the most important theories in science. Following, we review briefly the strengths of Rogers's overview of the evidence for evolution, discuss the value of a concise presentation of the evidence for evolution, and highlight potential shortcomings of the book. We compare The Evidence for Evolution to recent books that have presented the evidence for evolution, including Richard Dawkins's (2009) The Greatest Show on Earth and Jerry Coyne's (2009) Why Evolution is True. The Evidence It might be assumed that a body of work that sacrifices in length will also sacrifice the full measure of the intended message. This is not the case with The Evidence for Evolution. In
doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195073010.003.0003 fatcat:u6e23q7tvbgphp4ezumkh4xkoi