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Reddit reviews: The best paleontology books

We found 68 Reddit comments discussing the best paleontology books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 26 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top Reddit comments about Paleontology:

u/ibanezerscrooge · 4 pointsr/Christianity

>methodically state the case for why creation is most likely and/or why evolution is unlikely.

You will find lots and lots of the latter. Very little of the former.

>I'd also be happy to read GOOD anti-creation books as well, provided they meet the above criterion of not being mocking.

Those would just be science books based on the academic literature, wouldn't they?

Here is my reading list form the past few months. These would be pro-evolution (a.k.a science). Creationism is mentioned in a few of them, but almost in passing because Creationism is simply not a factor in legitimate scientific research, so it gets pretty much no consideration.

Knock yourself out. ;)

  • Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin - Also, watch the three part series that aired on PBS hosted by Neil Shubin.

  • Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean B. Carroll - An in depth look into developmental evolution.

  • The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People by Neil Shubin

  • The Link by Colin Tudge and Josh Young

  • Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade

  • Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA by Daniel J. Fairbanks - This and the other Fairbanks book listed below are the only books on this list with the intent to refute what creationists contend. He does this not by presenting the creationist argument and then trying to refute. He does it by simply presenting the evidence that science has born out regarding human evolution and genetics.

  • The Story of Earth by Robert Hazen - this is a cool book about the history of the Earth and life and how geology and biology worked in tandem with other factors to produce life from the point of view of a protein biologist.

  • Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth by Richard Fortey - Good general overview of evolutionary and geologic history.

  • The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity by Edwin Douglas - This is the most academic book in this list and, as such, is the most difficult to read. It is a concise look at what we know about the Cambrian Explosion from the scientific literature.

  • Life's Ratchet by Peter Hoffmann - Very good book about how the chaos wrought inside cells by thermal motion at the molecular level leads to the ordered functioning of the machinery of life.

  • What is Life? How Chemistry Becomes Biology by Addy Pross - Super interesting take on the question, "What is Life?" He comes to a very interesting conclusion which might have implications for abiogenesis research.

  • The Machinery of Life by David S. Goodsell - A neat little book that gets you acquainted with what it's really like inside of cells. A good companion book to read with Life's Ratchet as they highlight different aspects of the same topic.

  • Evolving by Daniel J. Fairbanks

  • Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes by Svante Paabo - Very interesting book about the drama, blood, sweat and tears, Dr. Paabo shed to develop the techniques to sequence ancient DNA. You simply won't find books like this and Your Inner Fish above amongst Creationist literature because they simply don't do what these scientists do out in the field and in the lab.
u/LRE · 8 pointsr/exjw

Random selection of some of my favorites to help you expand your horizons:

The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan is a great introduction to scientific skepticism.

Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris is a succinct refutation of Christianity as it's generally practiced in the US employing crystal-clear logic.

Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor by Anthony Everitt is the best biography of one of the most interesting men in history, in my personal opinion.

Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski is a jaw-dropping book on history, journalism, travel, contemporary events, philosophy.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is a great tome about... everything. Physics, history, biology, art... Plus he's funny as hell. (Check out his In a Sunburned Country for a side-splitting account of his trip to Australia).

The Annotated Mona Lisa by Carol Strickland is a thorough primer on art history. Get it before going to any major museum (Met, Louvre, Tate Modern, Prado, etc).

Not the Impossible Faith by Richard Carrier is a detailed refutation of the whole 'Christianity could not have survived the early years if it weren't for god's providence' argument.

Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman are six of the easier chapters from his '63 Lectures on Physics delivered at CalTech. If you like it and really want to be mind-fucked with science, his QED is a great book on quantum electrodynamics direct from the master.

Lucy's Legacy by Donald Johanson will give you a really great understanding of our family history (homo, australopithecus, ardipithecus, etc). Equally good are Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade and Mapping Human History by Steve Olson, though I personally enjoyed Before the Dawn slightly more.

Memory and the Mediterranean by Fernand Braudel gives you context for all the Bible stories by detailing contemporaneous events from the Levant, Italy, Greece, Egypt, etc.

After the Prophet by Lesley Hazleton is an awesome read if you don't know much about Islam and its early history.

Happy reading!

edit: Also, check out the Reasonable Doubts podcast.

u/lost_send_berries · 1 pointr/climate_science

> so it's not that I don't trust the scientific method! I'm just looking for an explanation put into terms that I can understand.

I get where you're coming from, I just think that eventually you would have to decide whether to trust scientists' previous work and the scientific community as a whole or not. I mean, unless you have multiple years to study the field. Which could be fun, but you might have other plans ;)

When I search on the internet, I do usually see a lot of introductory/"general public" level information. My strategy is if there's a reference to a paper, jump to it. Usually every paper includes an introduction with an overview of previous research, which means I'm basically guaranteed to find the answer, if I am willing to take the time and read the papers (which can be very hard).

But, if you want the easy route, you can pick up a textbook, like this one and get a much more systematic overview. Although admittedly, a reviewer says he "speaks very casually about isotope fractionation, as if everyone should already be familiar with this speciality". Oops! Still, there are other textbooks.

> the last paragraph says that it can be an average of hundreds to thousands of years, measured in Vostok... averaged data... false peaks, false valleys

I don't see the paragraph you're referring to? Also, averaging out data only smooths out peaks and valleys, it can't create ones where none existed.

> chaos makes climate hard

I don't think so. This explains why. It depends what you're trying to do of course. If I had to predict the exact nature of the climate with a doubling of CO2 compared to today, I would be like, "uh, dunno, that's such a huge change, all sorts of chaotic things could happen". But if I were predicting the climate if we kept today's CO2, I think the climate system would stay more similar to today (although it would keep warming for a few decades, it's certainly better compared to the other scenario). That's just basic energy balance really.

> it's arguably a lot better techniques from the 1960ies and forward, that's when we started recording temperature with satellites.

Satellites don't record the temperature, they record radiation - which is actually rather different. To go from that to the temperature requires some assumptions. That's why the satellite temperature record has had to have many corrections that overall, flipped it from showing cooling to warming. Also, a satellite scientist says the thermometer record is probably more accurate. Here's an interesting article on the statistics behind the thermometer data and some issues with the satellite data.

You're right that our temperature data in the 50s isn't as good as today, that's why datasets like HadCRUT4 have 100 versions which basically show the range of possible ways the data can be fitted together. It's like putting error bars on each data point but more advanced.

> The main problem with most of the graphs that's circulating (as well as the ones in the links we've scratched here) is that different methods of obtaining the data has been used within the same graph.

If they are trying to measure the same thing, it should not be a problem. More important is where the data has come from - if somebody is deliberately picking and choosing their data to get a certain result, then that's bad. If all the data has been considered fairly, then the result can be good.

u/TheStupidBurns · 2 pointsr/Reformed

> "I've heard this argument before, and it does not hold water."

Nice. A bold but completely empty assertion.

> "It's merely an attempt to shackle the psuedoscience of evolution to many more well-known and proven sciences."

Ohhhh.. and from there you spring to another, completely unsupported, empty assertion.

> "If you're going to make the audacious claim that all sciences must be abandoned if evolution is not embraced,..."

It's not remotely audacious. The fact you can pretend it is only indicated both the depth of your own lack of knowledge about the sciences in general and the equal lack of such knowledge by most in Christian culture.

> "... I'd like to see your proof."

Nice try. You have made a series of empty assertions in order to hand wave away an entire section of science, (evolutionary theory). The evidence for evolution is as strong, as robust, and as complete as it is for any of the other theories I have listed and is often dependent upon them.

The simplest such example is based upon the fact that those who reject evolution are nearly universally Young Earth Creationist, (I am not saying all, but the vast majority). Evolution demands more time than Young Earth dogma allows for. In order to weasel around Geological dating of fossil records, most Young Earth proponents will put forth hypothesis, (they call them 'theories'... it's actually kindof cute in a 'child playing at scientist' sort of way), that tend to do all of the following: fail to account for most of the factual evidence on hand in the geological sciences, demand that we completely throw out all methods of dating used in modern geological sciences, chuck out everything we know in general about geology.

Well, there goes one of the sciences on my list - thrown out for nothing but ideological reasons.

Lets look closer though. Lets look at all of those objections that young earth proponents have about things like carbon dating and potassium dating methods, (etc...). Others, in many other places, have done a much more complete job of disassembling the standard arguments against these dating methods than I have space for here but the short version is that those dating methods are the result of fundamental aspects of everything we know about physics. If those dating methods are wrong, (which, though possible, would require the presentation of something other than assertion and unfounded hypothesis to establish), then pretty much all of physics is wrong. Admittedly, that would be really cool. I doubt you have any idea how exciting that would actually be to most of the physicist I know. However, as cool as it would be, it is not only terribly unlikely there is absolutely no reason to suspect it, (unless, once again, we count the empty assertions of people with ideological positions and no evidence to suggest that they may be remotely correct).

But wait... there goes a second, entire field, of science. Thrown out the window because people don't like the time scales associated with evolutionary theory.

Really, this just goes on and on. It's also not hard to educate yourself about the scientific reality of this topic either. All you have to do is get out of the echo chamber of people committed to rejecting evolution and an old earth and look around at what the 'other side' is actually saying.

Here, I'll even make it easy for you.

Here's a great book, by a Christian, explaining the in's and outs of why Evolution has to be true based upon what we know.

Here is a brilliant book talking about the fossil record, how we know what we know about it, and what that actually tells us.

Here is a fantastic book about geology as taught and explained through the disasters that we, as humans, experience from it's actions on occasion.

Finally, I give you a link to the Science Based Medicine website through their search tool. You will find there several, researching, practicing, medical doctors; all of whom are highly respected in their fields. This is their blog about medicine, science, and all things that impinge upon those fields. I have taken the liberty of entering 'evolution' into their search bar for you. The resulting page of articles is what comes up. If nothing else, it should provide a good place for you to springboard from in the search for whatever you want to know past that in the several books I have pointed you at.

Lastly, I want to make one final point. if you read the books I have pointed you at, if you start reading the articles on the site I pointed you at, if you from there start reading the articles and books and studies available all through the world of science publication and science blogging you will find something pretty quickly. Each of those books has different information in them. Any real study of evolution exposes you to not one, or two, but many lines of evidence, (from almost all of the sciences), showing that it is true. Every single book I have ever read trying to argue against evolution, on the other hand, always ended up attempting to make the same unsupportable arguments, (irreducible complexity, gaps in the fossil records, efforts to deny various dating methods), that have been addressed by proponents of evolution a million times if once. If you can't understand all that, if you can't even take the time to educate yourself about some of it before dismissing the position counter to yours out of hand, then you are showing yourself as having no interest in truth. Instead you are saying that you are only interested in trying to make the world believe that you are right.



u/redmeansTGA · 1 pointr/evolution

Ernst Mayer, Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins have written some decent books broadly covering the evidence for evolution. Donald Prothero's Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters fits into that general category, and does a good job of outlining the evidence for evolution as well, in particular from a paleontological perspective.




Astrobiologist / Paleontologist Peter Ward has written a ton of fantastic books. I'd start with Rare Earth, which outlines the Rare Earth hypothesis, ie complex life is likely rare in the universe. If you read Rare Earth, you'll come away with a better understanding of the abiotic factors which influence the evolution of life on Earth. If you end up enjoying Rare Earth, I'd highly recommend Ward's other books.




Terra, by paleontologist Michael Novacek describes the evolution of the modern biosphere, in particular from the Cretaceous onwards, and then discusses environmental change on a geological scale to modern environmental challenges facing humanity. It's one of those books which will change the way you think about the modern biosphere, and the evolution in the context ecosystems, as opposed to individual species.




Another book by a paleontologist is When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time, looking at the Permian mass extinction, which was the most catastrophic mass extinction of the Phanerozoic wiping out 95%+ of all species. More focused on the geology than the other books I mentioned, so if you're not into geology you probably wont enjoy it so much.



Biochemist Nick Lane has written some great books. Life ascending would be a good one to start off with. Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life is really excellent as well.




The Origins of Life and the Universe is written by molecular biologist Paul Lurquin. It mostly focuses on the origin of life. It's pretty accessible for what it covers.




Another couple of books I would recommend to people looking for something more advanced are: Michael Lynch's Origins of Genome Architecture, which covers similar stuff to much of his research, although takes a much broader perspective. Genes in conflict is a pretty comprehensive treatment of selfish genetic elements. Fascinating read, although probably a bit heavy for most laypeople.


u/blam10 · 7 pointsr/Paleontology

I don't know how much literature there is of gorgon behavior, but Peter D. Ward is a well known authority on them and I'm sure he would be a good place to start for finding other references.

You should read his book: https://www.amazon.com/Gorgon-Paleontology-Obsession-Greatest-Catastrophe/dp/0670030945

He's a great writer and engaging without being too simplistic.

Good luck! Gorgonopsids are the shit.

u/PrequelSequel · 3 pointsr/Dinosaurs

No problem! Here are a couple of books that might help you along, if you haven't already gotten a hold of them! :)

All Yesterdays, a wonderfully provocative book that challenges common paleoart tropes.

The Paleoart of Julius Csontonyi is awesome. Most of his artwork can be found online, but it's nice to have it there in your hands. I won't go so far as to say Csotonyi is the modern day Charles R. Knight, but he's rapidly gaining that reputation.

Predatory Dinosaurs of the World by Gregory S. Paul. Modern paleoart owes a lot to Paul's work, even if his attention to anatomical detail resulted in dinosaurs that are just a bit too lithe.

Finally, we have William Stout's The New Dinosaurs. Yes, at times Stout makes his dinos look downright emaciated, but his comic-book-y style and portrayal of dinosaur behavior is a bit prescient of "All Yesterdays," and I can't help but associate his work with those wonderfully cheesy 1980s dino documentaries with Gary Owens, and that catchy theme music.

And once again, good luck!

u/mineralfellow · 1 pointr/geology

Go to the library and look for a historical geology textbook. You will probably have everything you need if you find just one. If you have a choice, this is a good book covering the paleo part, and any historical geology textbook should have a nice long chapter on the Paleocene. For a map, there are a number of good ones, but this is one site I use sometimes (be sure to cite references properly!). There is not a Paleocene map, but you can use the K-T and Eocene maps to get beginning/end conditions. The time period is a fairly interesting one, particularly for the story of development of life. Good luck, and if you make a nice poster, be sure to upload a picture of it!

u/LtKije · 1 pointr/Dinosaurs

I don't have a favorite documentary, but I will recommend the photo book Hunting Dinosaurs by Louie Psihoyos to anyone.

It's kind of dated (early 90s) but is a wonderfully written personal account of Psihoyos going around and meeting many of the great paleontologists of our time and talking about dinosaurs - alongside gorgeous photos.

Also: he somehow convinced the University of Pennsylvania to give him Edward Cope's skull and he talks about busting it out every time he met another paleontologist.

u/aelendel · 1 pointr/Paleontology

This is what I would recommend:

http://www.amazon.com/Terrestrial-Ecosystems-Through-Time-Evolutionary/dp/0226041557

It's 20 years old, but still good. This is based from the Smithsonian, they have a terrestrial ecosystem working group there and this was a publication by them. Check out the table of contents, it covers what you're interested in pretty closely.

It gives an overview of the problems, as well as how we know what we know, and a lot of detail as well into what was going on through time.

There has certainly been plenty of follow up work since then, but that's fairly easy to find with a literature search.

u/sharplikeginsu · 5 pointsr/TrueAtheism
  1. Fossils. I love the book Evolution: What the Fossils say, and why it matters. It's a handy, bring-it-with you guide that includes lots of transitional things. Lots of pictures. (Including evidence for the sea->land->sea trips for whale ancestors.)

  2. ERV's, Endogenous Retroviruses. Living species share ancient DNA markers of an infection given to ancestors. Not only do they imply common descent, but the ones that a given species does and doesn't have in common with neighboring species perfectly predicts the fossil evidence for how and when they branched off each other. And looking at small differences in the genome as a 'molecular clock' lets you (successfully) predict how long ago these splits took place.

    > Not only are there many ERVs shared among primates, but they are shared in hierarchical subsets of the whole. Each set falls within another set, giving an unbroken line of inheritance for every species (Kurdyukov et al., 2001; Lebedev et al., 2000). This pattern is called a nested hierarchy. These patterns further corroborate that the many species of primates share common ancestry, and necessitate a specific sequence of divergence from one ancestral species to the next. They are wholly inexplicable by the model of uncommon ancestry.


u/drink_your_tea · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

Hi /u/WalterFBishop,

I was a dino-crazy kid, and now I'm a bird-crazy adult, so this topic speaks to my passions! As a result, I've cultivated a list of books I want to read on the subject, but sadly, I haven't read any of these yet. Just the same, here are books I hope to read based on the reviews they've received and apparent comprehensiveness:

all ratings/reviews come from Amazon

u/darwinopterus · 1 pointr/Paleontology

One of the best books I used was Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America, Volume 1 because the first chapter is an overview of the climatic changes in the Cenozoic and the second chapter is an overview of the vegetation changes in the Cenozoic. However, it is out of print, so you'll have to check a library (worldcat can help you find the closest copy available).

Evolution of Grasses and Grassland Ecosystems is probably the best overview of what you were asking about, and while it goes into detail, I don't think it's too bogged down with jargon. Mammalian Response to Cenozoic Climate Change and Using phytolith assemblages to reconstruct the origin and
spread of grass-dominated habitats in the great plains of North America during the
late Eocene to early Miocene
are two more papers I recommend. If you can't access them through the links, try searching the titles on google scholar to see if you can get them that way.

u/rm999 · 14 pointsr/askscience

I am not at all an expert on this topic, but I am reading Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors right now, a fascinating book on the history of humans that tends to favor genetic explanations above the more social anthropological explanations.

This book argues that race is a very real thing, but it has little to do with looks (which is how people traditionally separate out race, e.g. black, white). It argues there are clean genetic clusters (based on a small number of genes) that can be referred to as "human races". You can say this person is ~x% this cluster, y% that, etc. You are right that genetically individuals are very diverse, but some genes dominate in some races. Just a few 100 years can create some major genetic changes that are selected for in that group. This is a fact supported by many examples, like the intelligence of Ashkenazi Jews, or the long distance running abilities of East Africans.

It is possible to look at someone's genetic signature and map them to a cluster pretty cleanly. Whether you want to call this "race" or not is debatable given the terrible history of race relations, but that is just a semantic debate. The politically correct stance that there is no difference between human populations hides the truth for social reasons.

u/Fraek · 0 pointsr/Conservative

"no scientific consensus that black people are genetically predisposed to lower intelligence"

The report is by the APA from 1996. The APA in 96 to even acknowledge that there was a gap was a huge thing, considering its bias. Discoveries have ramped up in the last few years so I don't know why wikipedia is relying on sources from 94 & 96 considering the human genome mapping wasn't completed until 2003. Discoveries since then have been one after another.

It's no surprise wikipedia comes to the PC conclusion, but it suffers from problems. It acknowledges that the black-white test gap exists. Either it is genetic, or environmental. There has been decades of money, and time thrown at fixing the environment by rich billionaires like Gates, and others. Dozens upon dozens of education, nutrition, parent swapping (giving black babies to whites), and other experiments, and they all failed. There is not a single study in the world that can claim lasting gains in the IQ gap. This bit of evidence would point to a genetic basis right? That and the fact that twin studies (the only proper studies that can control for genes) shows intelligence, among other dispositions, are highly heritable. In that wikipedia page, they link to the actual numbers from the APA study: "A 1996 statement by the American Psychological Association gave about .45 for children and about .75 during and after adolescence."

Finally, does that statement even pass the laugh test? "Science" doesn't work by consensus, but if it did, wouldn't it be relevant to ask the actual scientists involved in intelligence research?

There are people with very high intelligence, very low IQ, and everyone between. Most people can recognize that height is highly heritable, but it isn't a guarantee, sometimes you are taller than your tallest parent, sometimes you are shorter than the shortest parents. Most times you regress towards the mean. The idea that the brain is a blank slate has been discredited by Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky, and others. The brain comes with innate abilities, abilities that are partly inherited from your parents genes.

If you are actually concerned with finding the truth you can read Nicholas Wade, who writes for the NYTimes. The 10,000 Year Explosion. Or Gene Expression1. Or Gene Expression2. Rather than having your views filtered by whoever happens to be editing one of the many wikipedia pages.

u/RandyMFromSP · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

I'm sure how far back you want to start, but if you want to get into our ancient ancestors, I'd start with Before the Dawn. Follow that up with Cro-Magnon for a decent overview of the first modern human migrations into Europe. There is some overlap with After the Ice-Age, but the latter is a great resource describing the first transitions into agriculture.

The History of the Ancient World would be a good follow up; it's breadth is quite broad, starting with the ancient Sumerians and taking you up to the fall of the Roman Empire, but it's broken into small, readable chunks.

Hopefully this helps to get you started!

u/KniteWulf · 4 pointsr/CCW

>their genome was edited to make them much larger than they should otherwise be

None of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were authentic; they are all theme park monsters. This point is made in the original book, but isn't really brought up in the first movie; Dr. Wu talks about it pretty heavily during an exposition scene in Jurassic World, however.

That said, the Utahraptor was not discovered until after Jurassic Park was released, and just happens to be the same size as the film's Velociraptors.

Per the Jurassic Park wiki:

>In the Jurassic Park universe, the term "Velociraptor" is applied to the genus of another dromaeosaurid dinosaur known as Deinonychus. The films, like the novels, followed the unusual taxonomy created by Gregory S. Paul, who believed that Deinonychus, as well as a few other species of dromaeosaurids, could be classified under the genus "Velociraptor".^[1] As for the large size of the raptors, the novel raptors were sized up for an unknown reason by author Michael Crichton while the movie raptors were made larger per Steven Spielberg's request to him being unimpressed by the size of Deinonychus.^[2]

u/FeChaff · 1 pointr/atheism

Also Evolution by Donald Prothero was a good one along the same line. He has a couple of talks on youtube based on the book. Your Inner Fish is decent but less substantial. It has a 3 part educational PBS series that I believe is on Netflix. Dawkins is easy to read but he doesn't lay out the evidence as much as he talks about the processes, but those are still good books. The Selfish Gene is excellent.

u/meisterbeckhart · 2 pointsr/Christianity

You should pick up Life's Solution by Simon Morris. Also check out biologos. The reason that we can't give you specifics is because science is designed to read God out of the picture (and it should be designed that way). Science gives the specifics of how things get done, they just assume God isn't involved and so all the specifics are cast through that lens. Also if science doesn't want to ask the question of how god interacts with the world then how are they going to produce specifics about it. Christian faith can't give specifics because they weren't revealed to us. What was revealed is what it means to be created, made in the image of god and so forth.

You are asking a philosophical question and demanding a scientific answer.

Check out that Morris book I didn't have the chance to read it all but he is not an intelligent design guy not a creationist person but still see the possibility of God in the universe with evolution (which he accepts as fact).

He is also a professor at cambridge and he teaches something like paleobiology. So not a theologian but a scientist.

Let me know what you think.

u/josephsmidt · 1 pointr/mormondebate

Hi bendmorris, we could use a good biologist like yourself. :)

> It's a fallacy to think of humans, or animals, or any specific group as "more evolved" than other organisms.

I think you are misreading what I am saying. If evolution converges on certain solutions then as evolution goes on you get these end results as evolution moves forward. You should read Morris' Life's Solution on this.

> There are countless more evolutionary trajectories that have resulted in modern microorganisms

I think you are arguing that somehow there are so many trajectories you should not expect to get humans necessarily. You should read this book written by several great biologists. They disagree with this line of reasoning very strongly. They think convergence shows it is not correct even though it is the standard lore.

Am I so arrogant as to think me a physicist can say the whole biology community is wrong? No, but when several leading biologists do I start to wonder.

But I appreciate your opinion. You should know there are apparently many biologists who see so much convergence in evolution that this lore is being called into question. (In their minds. Read the books for yourself)

> Here's something to ponder that might challenge your human-centric view of the world

I'm not trying to be human centric. It isn't my fault there is a tremendous amount of convergence in evolution and it also isn't my fault if it converges upon many humanlike traits.

But if there was not widespread convergence you would be 100% correct.

u/BaronSpaffalot · 2 pointsr/funny

This myth about them being the size of a turkey just will not die. :(

Jurassic park Velociraptors were actually Deinonychus which is more very large dog sized with a tail length comparable to that of the movie dinosaurs. They do seem to have been beefed up a little in the movie still.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinonychus

Look on the right of the above wikipedia page under Synonyms and you'll see Velociraptor antirrhopus Paul, 1988. Click on Paul and it will take you to the page of a palaeontologist named Gregory S. Paul who wrote a book that was the main source that Michael Crichton used to write the novel, and Paul eventually was consulted for the Jurassic Park Movie. At the time that book was written, there was considerable debate as to what subfamily Deinonychus belonged to, hence the reason for some palaeontologists including Paul labelling it as Velociraptor antirrhopus. That name made its way into Michael Crichton's novel and the rest is movie history in terms of naming conventions.

The turkey sized dinosaur that everyone talks about is a completely different species called Velociraptor mongoliensis, so called because Mongolia is the site of the species fossil discovery, and so far all of the other fossil examples of the species are limited to Mongolia and China. In otherwords the turkey raptor is an exclusively Asian species.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velociraptor

Deinonychus however is an North american species with fossil remains coming exclusively from Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Montana. Where was the dig site at the start of the movie? Yep. Montana. :)

The book even makes the distinction between Velociraptor antirrhopus and Velociraptor mongoliensis by mentioning both species.

u/n00b0t_9000 · 1 pointr/exmuslim

Another book that is quite good and fun and about dinosaurs is Hunting Dinosaurs. I gave it as a gift to one of my tiny cousins and he loved the book.

u/ItsAConspiracy · 0 pointsr/Anarcho_Capitalism

I don't. So search for James Hansen, for starters. He's published quite a bit on the topic.

Edit: also Thomas Cronin, the author of this textbook. Or Michael Bender, the author of this one. But really the textbooks themselves would be the best place to start; it's a big, active field of research.

u/Aspirant_Blacksmith · 3 pointsr/pics

This book was written by one of the paleontologists who consulted for the Jurassic Park films. He was one of the major reasons why they kept updating the appearance and behaviours of the dinos. The book explains that they're looking at using protein signals during embryo development, rather than cloning from DNA, to create atavistic traits in chicken/turkey embryos they will one day be able to manipulate the development to form a dinosaur. They would look identical to their gene-sake, but would still feed off a chicken's diet and taste like poultry if you were to eat one. Totally worth a read.

u/WinstonSmith-MT · 2 pointsr/exjw

Professing to be an atheist and accepting the sound scientific evidence for evolution are completely disconnected. To try to connect the two is somewhat like saying that because I accept the law of gravity, I must be an atheist. The Watchtower likes to confuse the two by attacking atheism and calling it an argument against evolution. But that’s their logical fallacy - don’t buy into it.

BTW, a book I found helpful in learning about evolution and debunking creationism was “Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters” by Donald Prothero (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0231139624/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr=)

u/extremelyCombustible · 1 pointr/askanatheist

You should direct most of these questions to r/evolution, since I think they are for the most part a little more informed and a lot more willing to answer questions on the topic. This should get you started though: talk origins archive on the matter of human evolution

edit: also wanted to add that there are plenty of fossil examples; a great book I would suggest is "Evolution" by Don Prothero. This book is great because it focuses almost entirely on the fossil record, which is oftentimes attacked as having "holes" or lacking transitional forms. Keep in mind that nearly every fossil found could be considered a transitional fossil between an ancestor and something else, the term is really a misnomer.

u/loooocas · 1 pointr/wiiu

You are talking about paleoclimatology, which is an entire scientific discipline that studies exactly what you were talking about. There is extensive literature out there that looks at past climate changes on earth. It is a challenging field, because the rock record has gaps in it and these studies use proxy evidence out of necessity. If you are genuinely curious about past changes in earth's climate (and not just a stubborn climate change denier), Princeton has printed a good, affordable book that introduces most of the major climate events. link

edit: Oh, and the rate of change in atmospheric composition and temperature we are currently experiencing are absolutely unprecedented in earth's 4.6 billion year history.

u/tchomptchomp · 3 pointsr/Paleontology

Gaining Ground - Devonian origins of tetrapods

The Rise of Fishes - early evolution of fishes with focus on Paleozoic fishes

Earth Defore the Dinosaurs - comprehensive review of the Paleozoic

Dawn of the Dinosaurs - General review of the Triassic, focus on tetrapods. Beautifully illustrated.

u/bmobula · 1 pointr/politics

> Science does not "work differently in different countries". Science is the scientific method.

I LOLed at the ignorance, I really did! Oh dear, what a sheltered little life you must lead. Don't get me wrong, I wish research funding fell out of the sky with no political agenda or strings attached, but sadly that is not the reality. Of course if you knew anything about scientific research, I wouldn't have to explain this to you like you were a child.

> I'm agnostic.

If you're agnostic and you're accusing scientists like myself - people who have reviewed the mountain of evidence in support of the theory of evolution by natural selection that converges from dozens of different disciplines and concluded that it is a fact - of being a cult member, then you are either fantastically ignorant or fantastically stupid. Or both.

As it happens, there are several superb books that explain all of the evidence for evolution in ways that are reasonable accessible to educationally deprived individuals such as yourself. Perhaps a little less Fox News for you, and a little more reading, hmm?

http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319155823&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-What-Fossils-Say-Matters/dp/0231139624/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1319155823&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Inner-Fish-Journey-3-5-Billion-Year/dp/0307277453/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1319155823&sr=8-3

http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Show-Earth-Evidence-Evolution/dp/1416594787/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1319155823&sr=8-7

u/MortalSisyphus · 7 pointsr/DebateAltRight

A good summary of the origins of Australian Aborigines, as well as much of early human history, can be found in Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade.

u/YossarianWWII · 2 pointsr/askscience

This book is very good, although there are a number of very important recent discoveries that it doesn't include because it's about 7 years old now. Unfortunately I've not read anything more recent since I've kept abreast of the field mostly through journal articles.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/askscience

Birds are descended from dinosaurs, there's no "supposedly" about it.

Some "dinosaur" genes are still kicking around in birds. Some birds still have clawed hands as chicks, and fiddling around in labs with chicken embryos can make them grow vestigial teeth (though this is lethal to the embryo). And we still have cassowaries, which are pretty much emus that want to be velociraptors.

I really doubt that it's possible to reverse-engineer a theropod, though-- birds have been doing their own thing for a very long time, and a lot of their genes have been lost or modified-- but Jack Horner disagrees. You might be interested in picking up his book.

u/louderthanbombs · 6 pointsr/Anarchism

You win. My son's only 1 years old, but I found this book at a thrift store and can't wait for the awesomeness to begin.

u/jaywalkker · 2 pointsr/science

Any specific Science books?

I could recommend "How to Build a Dinosaur" by Jack Horner
Or "Greatest Show on Earth" by Dawkins.

but neither of those make a difference if that's not the sciencey genres you were looking for.

u/AmmoniteGal · 1 pointr/geology

Night Comes to the Cretaceous is a warts-and-all telling of the development of the impact hypothesis. Volcanic Cowboys - well, the title is self-explanatory.

u/DanielDManiel · 2 pointsr/Paleontology

Prothero's "Bringing Fossils to life" was one of the into textbooks we used when I took an undergrad invertebrate paleontology class and it is a good introduction. The other book we used was exclusively an invertebrate paleo book, but this one has a decent amount of vertebrate stuff as the author himself researches fossil mammals and Cenozoic stratigraphy.

u/rocksinmyhead · 1 pointr/askscience

One I like (I've got an old edition, 1995; there maybe newer) is History of Life by Richard Cowen. I'll ask our paleontologist what book he teaches from and post the title later.

EDIT: Bringing Fossils To Life: An Introduction To Paleobiology by Prothero (expensive text, but perhaps you can find it used)

EDIT 2: I was told the 2^nd edition of Prothero isn't much different than the 1^st, but the 1^st is a lot cheaper.

u/weforgottenuno · 2 pointsr/atheism

Book by Donald Prothero that lays out all the fossil evidence for evolution:
http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-What-Fossils-Say-Matters/dp/0231139624

u/charoco · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

I'll add Before the Dawn (http://www.amazon.com/Before-Dawn-Recovering-History-Ancestors/dp/014303832X), which focuses on how scientists have used DNA to answer archaeological questions.

u/shimei · 2 pointsr/books
u/dalejreyes · 4 pointsr/todayilearned

Back in the old days, most people were hairy hominids, but some had patterns of baldness across their bodies. This was novel, attractive. They got to be fucked more often. That baldness gene got past on. And now men want to fuck things like Kate Upton, Beyonce, or a Fleshlight.

See, Before the Dawn