SALT LAKE CITY, June 8 (UPI) -- A U.S. anthropologist says his new book uses modern scientific knowledge to fill in pieces missing from Charles Darwin's original argument for evolution.
University of Utah anthropologist Alan R. Rogers says his book, "The Evidence for Evolution," is an attempt to lay to rest what he says are persistent and inaccurate anti-evolution arguments by using scientific evidence unavailable in Darwin's day, the second half of the 19th century.
Darwin, Rogers points out, didn't know about genetics, continental drift or the age of the Earth, had never seen a species change, had no idea whether it was possible for a species to split in two, knew of no transitional fossils and of almost no human fossils -- all evidence for evolution now available to modern science.
"That evidence might have gone the other way," Rogers says. "It might have refuted Darwin's theory. But instead, we have 150 years of evidence, all of which supports his theory. My book tells the story of these discoveries."
Rogers says he got the idea in 2006 after reading a poll reporting only about half of Americans believe humans evolved.
"It occurred to me after reading this poll that it didn't make much sense to teach students about the intricacies of evolution if they don't believe that evolution happens in the first place.
"So I decided that my introductory classes henceforth were going to have a week or two on the evidence for evolution, and I started looking for a text."
When he couldn't find one that was suitable, he says, he wrote his own easy-to-read book that supports evolution with modern science.
He says he hopes "The Evidence for Evolution" will encourage people to think critically.
"All scientists are skeptics, if they're any good, but they're not stubborn about it. In science, you have to be able to change your mind when confronted with evidence.
" It seems to me that learning that skill is important, not only for scientists, but for everybody. It makes us better citizens."