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Fossils of the Whitby Coast: A Photographic Guide
Fossils of the Whitby Coast: A Photographic Guide
by Dean R. Lomax
Edition: Paperback

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable guide for fossil enthusiasts, 26 Jan. 2012
The area around Whitby is one of the best fossil-bearing coasts in the UK, so it is a surprise that no thorough identification guide has been given until now. This book by Dean Lomax is not simply a temporary fix whilst waiting for something better, but is exactly what the market has needed.

Its main strength is its main focus. The title tells the customer exactly what to expect, as it is packed to the brim with high quality photographs and illustrations, providing a stunning visual guide to Whitby fossils. This will be a useful addition to any fossil lover's library, and not just those intending to head to the Yorkshire coast with an eye for collecting. In addition to the many useful images, the book has solid practical information for how to go about finding the fossils and what to do once you do find them, along with some good background information on the geology of the area.

I expect that seasoned fossil collectors and professionals will find this book as useful as beginners will; as a student in palaeontology, I sit somewhere in the middle of that scale and expect to be consulting this book a lot in the future. I've not yet had the opportunity to field-test the book, though I have used it whilst looking at some of the fossils I have already collected from there and it has already proven to be useful. I can already tell that it will be indispensable when planning future trips and identifying the fossil hauls I hope to find.

As with any book, there are improvements which could be made, though it does appear that those may simply be personal preferences. For example, I would personally like to see more of the stratigraphic context, such as labelled images of the rock exposures (though we are not allowed to collect directly from them which the book makes clear, so this information would not be useful for everyone). Most people should be very satisfied with this book, as it does what is required and does so well.

If I had to review this book in just a few words, I would simply say that if you like fossils, then buy this book!


Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA
Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA
by Daniel J. Fairbanks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and Precise., 30 July 2008
One of the best things about this book is how concise it is. Fairbanks sticks to his aim and pulls it off spectacularly. The book is split into 3 main sections, so I will review them individually.

The first part of the book consists of genetic evidence for evolution and immediately proves the book to be worth buying. Each section is concise and easy to follow as he piles up the evidence, giving the feeling that he could have easily kept going on and on.

The next section should be unnecessary, but sadly, considering the overwhelming ignorance of creationists, is a necessity. It is here where Fairbanks addresses the issues of faith and science and again is adept at sticking to the point.

The book finishes with the appendices,of which there are 3. The first two are perfect for those who have gained an appetite for genetics from the first part of the book, or for those who considered the first section to be light reading. It is more technical than the earlier chapters and goes into more detail for some of the examples. The third and final appendix discusses the history of evolutionary theory and genetics and makes for interesting reading.

This book has already been suggested as an excellent companion to 'Your Inner Fish' though I would suggest anyone interested in evolution should buy this book.


Your Inner Fish: The amazing discovery of our 375-million-year-old ancestor: A Journey into the 3.5 Billion-Year History of the Human Body
Your Inner Fish: The amazing discovery of our 375-million-year-old ancestor: A Journey into the 3.5 Billion-Year History of the Human Body
by Neil Shubin
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey worth taking repeatedly., 2 Jun. 2008
The only complaint I could have about this book is the length, I was hoping that the size was deceiving or that the book would continue to write itself as I read on. Neil Shubin writes with passion and clarity, illuminating two separate fields which merge together to mould modern evolutionary thinking. He elucidates difficult concepts with finesse, providing stimulating reading for a wide audience.

The opening chapters are an excellent introduction to field palaeontology and its predictive capability, turning a subject often associated with dusty fossils and haughty professors into one of fascination and awe. From there he leads us into the relationship of the genome with what we see in these fossils, in our trips to the zoo and in our own bodies. Shubin makes these diverse fields tangible to the layman, weaving them together effortlessly and presenting the intricacies of life for all to marvel in. This book filled many gaps in my knowledge and I feel I will never look at my body the same way, the effect of this book is profound.


The Puzzle of God
The Puzzle of God
by Peter Vardy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book any intelligent Christian should read!!, 17 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Puzzle of God (Paperback)
As a newcomer to philosophy I can become rather overwhelmed by philosophical jargon, which makes any book on the subject rather daunting. However, this book allowed me to understand everything that was being discussed and get my foot into the door of philosophical language whilst also keeping it interesting enough to keep me reading.

This book had me asking questions I know I should have asked myself but never had and also introduced me to some new ideas. I found that this book had the most effective impact by reading a section then going away to think about the things that had come up. I believe any Christian should read this book and ask themselves some important questions about what it is they believe.

Thankfully this book has no straight answers and its intention is purely to allow you to ask yourself these questions, allowing you to analyse what you are really saying in your beliefs. After reading only a select few chapters I had found myself re-evaluating my views, noticing flaws in what I held dear. Any who have ever pondered God's existence and what God means owe it to themselves to read this book.


Seek and You Will Find: Questions on the Christian faith and the Bible
Seek and You Will Find: Questions on the Christian faith and the Bible
by The Taize Community
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A handy book for searching Christians, 29 Sept. 2007
I bought this book this year whilst in Taizé and would recommend it to any Christian, whether they have been to Taizé or not! I have not even finished the book yet, though it has already touched me.

This year when I visited Taizé I had a lot of unresolved questions and had problems understanding scripture, mainly because I never knew where to start with the bible. This book is ideal for pointing you in the right directions to answer your own questions, whilst bringing up many others. It works as a guide for finding the answers yourself, which to me is important for a Christian to be able to do. It opened my eyes to things I had never considered and opened the Bible up for me. Using it, I often followed references to the Bible and got more background on what I was reading. It gave me starting points in the Bible and enabled me to explore it on my own.

I recommend this book to anybody needing guidance in finding answers about themselves and for anybody who finds the Bible difficult to get into.


VELVET ELVIS: Repainting the Christian Faith
VELVET ELVIS: Repainting the Christian Faith
by Rob Bell
Edition: Paperback

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening, 28 Sept. 2007
I was given this book by a close friend, he suggested I read it and might benefit from it. He himself had it given to him by a complete stranger he met on a plane at the other side of the world. Normally I would take a while to read a book suggested by a friend, but in this case it felt personal, so I promptly read it.

I remember reading and re-reading the first chapters, I was that enthralled. Rob Bell's way of looking at the Christian Faith is refreshing and fit in well with beliefs I already held dear, as well as opening my eyes to new ways of thinking. In the weeks following my reading of this book I found that when I spoke from the heart about my faith I had absorbed some of Rob Bell's key points. The author also points out that the book itself must not be simply all taken in without questioning, it is refreshing to be reminded of that when reading such an excellent book.

I could not do this book justice with a review, I suggest you either borrow or buy this book and read it for yourself. I leant mine to a friend (something I never do, especially considering this copy isn't mine) and fully intend to buy my own copy, it is definitely worth it.


The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
by Francis Collins
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good arguments for evolution, but little evidence for faith, 26 Sept. 2007
I rather enjoyed reading Francis Collins' book, it is well written and rather informative. Using easy to understand language and fluid writing, he manages to explain genetic evidence for evolution in a simple manner. Considering his scientific credentials this is not surprising. This book successfully argues the case for evolution and shows the ridiculous nature of Intelligent Design and creationism, whilst displaying that Science and Faith can live in harmony. He delves into other scientific realms with ease, showing that God has not been eliminated by science and can in fact tie in with it.

The problem with this book is that it boasts in the subtitle that he is giving evidence for belief. The main case for belief that he gives is the idea of the Moral Law. He repetitively quotes C. S. Lewis and appears not to question him, given that he is such a high profile scientist this is very surprising. He barely touches evidence to the contrary and merely skims over it. This un-scientific approach is surprising and is the main fault I found with the book.

If he had been more objective in his judging of 'Moral Law', then this book may have lived up to its claim (if he indeed successfully refuted all opposition). However, without this objective approach the book is not likely to convince any non-believers, though it may help to affirm somepeople's faith.


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