Judging from the title, you might expect this book to be a Bible thumping zealot’s response to a misguided attempt to question the authority of the Bible, and you’d be completely off base. Talbot does an excellent job of presenting well reasoned, impersonal arguments that will appeal to a general audience. As he states on page 37,
My goal is not to disprove evolution theory, my goal is to evaluate the truth of the claim that the evidence for it is incontrovertible, that evolution theory has been scientifically proven, and that the book under review provides that evidence.And again on page xix:
In this book, I do not advance an alternate explanation of origins. Dawkins opens the door to discussion on both Creationism and Intelligent Design, and I do seek to correct his assertions and arguments where I believe he has it wrong, but I am not herein advocating any particular theory of origins despite my personal views. The issue is the validity of the theory of evolution; the alternatives can be argued elsewhere.He lets you know right up front where he’s headed:
While I am not attempting to disprove evolution theory, I am claiming that there are numerous problems with the general theory—that much of the science is predicated upon unproven assumptions which have led to numerous errors; that there is a substantial body of scientific evidence that throws doubt on the theory; and that there is more unexplained than explained. The major proof points for the theory, namely, abiogenesis (chemical evolution), and that genetic mutation and natural selection have the development power claimed for them, have not been scientifically demonstrated, and there is inadequate substantive evidence for their assumed capability (xix).Talbot has a background in Information Technology, which allows him to look at things from a slightly different perspective than other authors in areas such as irreducible complexity. He demonstrates a thorough understanding of evolution’s complexities, yet does a good job of explaining things without losing the average reader in the process. By comparison, this book is an easier read than Michael Behe’s book Darwin’s Black Box, but no less helpful. The author systematically goes through Dawkins’ book, covering the majority of the chapters. While there are a few spots where having Dawkins’ book in hand would be helpful, there’s no need to have a previous familiarity.
If you’re familiar with logic, you will appreciate Talbot’s analysis of things, and if not, this is a good learning opportunity to hone your reasoning skills. He demonstrates over and over Dawkins’ logical fallacies, including category errors, appealing to the law of the excluded middle, unwarranted generalization, circular arguments, affirming the consequent, and appeal to consequence. Don’t worry, all of these errors in logic are laid out in an easily understandable fashion.