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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeking truth about evolution?
Having recently read James Le Fanu's "Why us?" I was fascinated to find in this book a more extensive and detailed critique of some of the concerns surrounding evolution. It was reassuring to find both authors using similar sources and objectively evaluating the concerns about the "evidence" for evolution. The fossil record, the genetic code, the important difference...
Published on 30 April 2010 by Mr. J. R. Pilling

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45 of 79 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Religion Pretending to be Science
Antony Latham is a GP and born-again christian who, according to his writings on the christian medical fellowship website, states that Darwinian evolution "runs counter to any Christian concept of purpose and design in nature". It is not therefore a total coincidence that Latham became "skeptical" about the science of evolution at the same time he became a christian...
Published on 8 Nov. 2007 by jcmacc


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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeking truth about evolution?, 30 April 2010
By 
Mr. J. R. Pilling (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed (Paperback)
Having recently read James Le Fanu's "Why us?" I was fascinated to find in this book a more extensive and detailed critique of some of the concerns surrounding evolution. It was reassuring to find both authors using similar sources and objectively evaluating the concerns about the "evidence" for evolution. The fossil record, the genetic code, the important difference between micro- and macroevolution were all unemotionally considered. Once the evidence for both sides has been presented Andrew Latham then dedicates a chapter to a detailed critique of Richard Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker", exposing some of the illogical arguments Dawkins employs and achieving a thoughtful judgement without using the extravagant (abusive?) language which is a hallmark of Dawkins' writing.
For anyone hoping for a new revelation about evolution this will be a disappointing book because the author finishes with a short chapter appealing to reason and in which he reiterates his opinion that there is much we don't know about evolution, there is much which is mysterious about our origins and it is more honest to admit the limits of our knowledge than to peddle a theory which has so many flaws in it.
For someone like me, who has had a niggling feeling for many years that he was being duped by the tide of rhetoric claiming that the only truth was evolution, this was a seminal book to read. I put it down feeling better informed and relieved to have been given balanced facts without recourse to inflammatory rhetoric.
Altogether a brilliant read.
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38 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite perfect, but well worth a read, 8 Jan. 2009
By 
Dr. James Austin (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed (Paperback)
This is a remarkable book that I thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in the evolution/creationism debate.

On the face of it, there are at least three reasons one might give this book a miss. It is written by an 'amateur' to the evolution world (Dr Latham is a GP in the Outer Hebrides, of all places!); he is quite upfront about being a Christian and a creationist (though certainly no six-day fundamentalist); and the book is published by Janus, which seems only one step removed from a 'vanity press'. But perhaps the fact that Darwin himself was also an 'amateur', a largely self-taught naturalist, might encourage the reader to put aside these cover-judgements and open the book; if so, he or she will be well rewarded.

The striking accomplishment of this book is how very well informed Dr Latham is about his subject. He writes with considerable authority, quoting and analysing passages from mainstream textbooks on biology and palaeontology as well as original research from Nature, PNAS and other highly respected journals. He is on sufficiently personal terms with Simon Conway Morris that Professor Conway Morris reviewed and corrected his manuscript (Stephen Jay Gould cannot claim as much!). Amateur or not, this man clearly knows his stuff.

His writing style is clear, straightforward, and well-referenced, with a heavy emphasis on the scientific merits and flaws of the argument. He is at pains to emphasise key points, and also to highlight any passages that some readers might wish to gloss over as too 'technical'. While very readable, his style is a little dry, and he lacks the talent for metaphor and analogy that has made Richard Dawkins so popular - or perhaps he deliberately avoids it, as he does not hesitate to tear apart some of Dawkins' weaker analogies. His points are well referenced, with a useful bibliography at the back; however, an index was sorely missed.

The bulk of the book is a scientific critique of the claims of neo-Darwinism to fully explain the origins and diversity of life on earth. I am not enough of a palaeontologist to judge the merits of his argument, but he makes a strong case that the current concept of natural selection operating on phenotype variation caused by DNA mutation, while adequate to explain micro-evolution, is inadequate to explain macro-evolution, speciation and the fossil record as we see it. He also points out that even among the palaeontology establishment there are some doubts, with quotes from such respected mainstream names as Euan Clarkson, Michael Benton (not Denton!) and Henry Gee. I was somewhat disappointed by his fairly non-critical chapter on irreducible complexity; he makes no mention of exaptation as counter-argument to irreducible complexity, and puts great weight on the example of the bacterial flagellum without mentioning the Type Three Secretory System that may (or may not) have been its evolutionary precursor. But despite these worrying omissions, I was both educated and impressed by the evidence he presented; while I'm not convinced it adds up to proof of a creator, it certainly left me feeling Darwinism still has a lot of explaining to do.

The last two chapters of the book slightly spoilt it, I felt. A chapter on Darwin's life and influences, while informative, balanced and well-argued, had something of an 'ad hominem' flavour to it that detracted from the dispassionately scientific tone taken up to then. The final chapter, a detailed critique of Richard Dawkins' 'The Blind Watchmaker', was again well-argued and a powerful refutation of some of Dawkins' arguments; but with a shrill, almost propagandistic tone that was again at odds with the rest of the book.

Despite these minor criticisms, I found this an excellent book: eminently readable, and of great interest to a layman who is interested in evolution but lacks the time to sift through the scientific evidence first-hand. Fans of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, and Michael Behe alike would all be well advised to read this.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A highly accessible and sober critical examination of Darwinism, 5 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed (Paperback)
A very accessible critical examination of Darwinism. For those of you looking for a more sober and substantial engagement with paleontology and the science of Darwinism by someone who is not compromised by naturalistic predispositions or loyalties to the Darwinian creed, then I would recommend buying this book.
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25 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darwinism cannot explain everything, 29 Mar. 2008
By 
trini "HWS" (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed (Paperback)
Latham's book repeatedly targets the views of Richard Dawkins (see especially the whole of chapter 15), because "Dawkins has made himself the principal apologist for Darwinism for our generation and must therefore be taken very seriously" (preface, p. v).

But Latham does not write against Dawkins personally, but against the Darwinism on which Dawkins depends.

Latham tackles head-on the Darwinian theory that all life has evolved from a single source by gradual random changes. Latham (p. 84) quotes Darwin in The Origin of Species: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down". Latham comments immediately: "Darwinists must take these words very seriously because we are now at the stage when an accumulation of facts does in fact lead us to severely doubt that any such gradual process has ever produced complex organs. This is backed up by our knowledge of the inability of mutations to bring about such macro changes ... "

The author concludes: "If there is one thing I hope the reader will take on board it is the absolute lack of any clear model available to science which can explain the existence of life. Darwinism has been shown to be a totally inadequate explanation - apart from the micro-evolutionary level.... All the evidence ... has led me to believe that life has been designed and that all the major innovations have occurred in saltations, the like of which no Darwinist can explain. The evidence before us shows us that a creator has been active throughout." (p. 249).

Latham endlessly repeats that micro-evolution within species, e.g. the famous Galapagos finches, is scientifically certain, and must be accepted; but that there is no proof that macro-evolution, change outside the species group, ever happened by the required Darwinian method of "numerous, successive, slight modifications". Latham concludes: Darwin, faced with the further fossil and genetics knowledge since his day, "as a scientist and a basically humble man ... would now be seeking a totally different solution" (p. 44). Darwin's theory has `absolutely broken down'.

Latham examines many cases in detail. I pick out two.

First, the first tetrapods. Latham concludes (pp. 76,77) both that there is an unexplained sudden leap [a saltation], in lifestyle and locomotion from water to land, and that there is nevertheless a linkage between the first land animals and fish. "This [latter consideration] does not validate Darwinism, however. These [first tetrapods] are not `transitional' in the sense that Darwin meant and longed for. We see too much that is suddenly new to call the first tetrapods transitional. There is no gradual evolution here but we do see earlier forms being a sort of template for the creation of later forms. The appearance of tetrapods is sudden and is just one of the saltations (leaps of form) that characterize the fossil record ... there are indeed totally unexplained yawning gaps in the fossil record but ... also continuity between succeeding forms - hence the fish-like characteristics of the first tetrapods. They appear with all the attributes of land walkers, suddenly - but retain signs of their lineage. Darwinism requires smooth continuity always. We do not see this ... The transition [from fish to tetrapod] is sudden. Darwinists will put this down to inadequate fossil preservation, but this argument is now wearing thin. The challenge to the Darwinist is to show us even one case in the history of life where a macro change has occurred smoothly with well-defined, gradually transitional intermediate forms. Darwin waited and we still wait." Challenging stuff!

The second case concerns Homo sapiens, discussed in the must-read Chapter 6: hominids, Ardipithecus, `Lucy', Ramapithecus, Australopithecus, Homo erectus, Neanderthal man, et al. Latham says (p. 110): " ... what evidence we have indicates a massive saltational leap from the preceding Homo erectus [to Homo sapiens] and astounding changes in a brain which triples in size within just 3 million years. There is absolutely no evidence for gradual change". Latham again: "Are we descended from apes or not? It is clear that we are not in the sense that Darwin meant. It has definitely not been a question of gradual evolution. Saltations require something more than chance and selection: they require design and purpose." (p. 111).

Space is running out. Briefly:

1) Latham insists that `natural selection' can only select mutations that are already there. "Selection is not creative" (p. 146). Darwinism does not adequately explain the process of mutation.

2) Latham significantly suggests (in chapter 14) that Darwin makes his system exclude God from the universe. This could derive from the influence of Darwin's unbelieving grandfather and freethinking Edinburgh friend Grant. Keeping God out of our universe excuses us from seeing God as being in any way concerned with suffering and evil in the world. The theodicy of Milton's Paradise Lost (Darwin took a copy on the Beagle) is relevant.

3) Latham detects a swing among scientists now towards anti-Darwinism. "It is not that leading scientists do not realise these mistakes [in Darwinism]. It is just that they rarely feel free to openly say so" (p. 171). "There is enormous inertia in the Darwinian paradigm - but shift it will." (p. 245). Latham backs Intelligent Design. Michael Behe's 1996 book, `Darwin's Black Box', "may well be historic in the turning of the tide against Darwinism." (p. 129). Behe's follow-up volume, `The Edge of Evolution - The Search for the Limits of Darwinism', appeared in 2007.

4) Latham: "There are no mechanisms that we can see or even imagine in the genetics of life that will produce a creature such as a human. We are left with no alternative but to see another force at work - one which modern science does not feel comfortable with but with which we must reckon. We are made by design and purpose and by a power that we have no idea of ... creatures are created" (p. 148).
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71 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must reading for all Darwinists, 25 Sept. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed (Paperback)
This new book by a respected medical doctor is an excellent review of some of the many major problems of neoDarwinism. Well written so that the contents are assessable to laymen, yet it covers enough new material to hold the interest of scientists. The book also covers a wide variety of topics in an interesting way. Since my field is molecular biology, I was happy to see a number of sections that covered this area, such as one on Hox genes. I became disillusioned with neoDarwinism largely as a result of my graduate studies in molecular and cell biology, and have often felt that no area posed more challenge to neoDarwinism than this field. For this reason, I was happy to see this area covered in this book. No traditional creationist, Latham quotes from many mainline scientists to make his point. My only complaint, aside from some very minor mistakes, is that the book should have gone into much more detail about the areas covered, and should have been better referenced. At 257 pages the author may have tried to hard to keep it short and to appeal to non scientists. It also should have had an index. Aside from these minor concerns, this book shows why the new generation of life scientists are becoming disillusioned with neoDarwinism. It also shows the stripes of the Darwin fundamentalists when confronting the growing number of Darwin skeptics. This will be a good reference book for my biology students.
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read, 7 April 2009
This review is from: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed (Paperback)
This book makes an excellent read, it doesn't only open the readers mind to the amazing diversity of life on this planet but also goes on to ask the question, did we evolve or were we created. After reading this book, one is left with more questions than answers. A must read.
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54 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful non-creationist critique of Darwinism, 16 Sept. 2005
This review is from: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed (Paperback)
This is a well-informed, short critique of Darwinian macro-evolution written by a doctor who is not a young-earth creationist.
The book summarises arguments from 'irreducible complexity' (a la Behe's 'Darwin's Black Box') and the origin of self-replicating life (a la Stephen C. Meyer). It contains an interesting discussion of the fossil record and of several Darwinian 'icons'.
In my view, however, Latham's book is particularly note-worthy for its last but one chapter, a sucinct but devistating point by point critique of Richard Dawkins' famous book 'The Blind Watchmaker'.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read., 26 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed (Paperback)
Dr Latham has a very good ability to explain the issues, and his scrutiny of the evidence
results in making the weaknesses of the evolution theory evident.
Let's cut to the bone: how is it that the scientific community to such a high degree refuses
to face the weaknesses of Darwin's theory? The answer is simply: the general trend during
the 19th century and beyond was the striving to replace anything concerned with the spiritual or religious
with something purely materialistic. Therefore Darwin's theory was greeted with
high acclaim since it seemed to constitute a further step in the same direction - during the same
time period, Karl Marx's theory in the political realm also fell into fertile ground.
Consequently, since still an atheistic, materialistic outlook is considered as the norm within much
of the scientific community, any threat to the Darwinian theory is treated as an existential threat
putting the whole edifice of a science erected on a materialistic base in question. The result?
Those scientists who consider themselves as very rational are behaving in a very irrational way by
refusing to face the facts (the fossil evidence alone is devastating to Darwinism) and trying to construct
ever more artificial defences of the theory.
Sorry Charles, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but today we know so much more than in the mid 19th
century, and as you yourself predicted, your theory might be refuted depending on further findings - that's
how it turned out.
Note that Darwin himself was quite prepared for this, it's the present day politically correct scientific
establishment which needs to face the facts and create a better theory - this however presupposes open-mindedness,
which seems to be in short supply indeed.
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45 of 79 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Religion Pretending to be Science, 8 Nov. 2007
By 
jcmacc (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed (Paperback)
Antony Latham is a GP and born-again christian who, according to his writings on the christian medical fellowship website, states that Darwinian evolution "runs counter to any Christian concept of purpose and design in nature". It is not therefore a total coincidence that Latham became "skeptical" about the science of evolution at the same time he became a christian. Evolutionary science seems to threaten his idea of religion. Given that, the idea this book is about science, not religion, is tenuous at best.

Latham is fond of very bold statements like "nobody has any idea how DNA was formed" which is a stunningly ignorant position given the multitude of scientific papers which have proposed very precise mechanisms by which DNA could have been formed. For anyone who understands the creationist and ID (intellegent design)movements in the US, they will automatically be familiar with the other tedious arguments Latham uses. His two faviourites seem to be:

(1) Earth is so suitable for life it must be a design not an accident. This is a simple logical error: if Earth wasn't suitable for life, we wouldn't be here to write about it, we'd be on one of the other billions of planets that did happen to have the right set of conditions.

(2) cells have complex structures that appear to be "irreproducibly complex" i.e take one part away and the entire structure loses all function. To Latham this means evolution couldn't have produced the structure as too many changes and mutations would have to occur at once. This is Michael Behe's argument that was destroyed so clinically in the Dover trial where ID was shown to be religiously inspired creationism in a modern pseudo-scientific dressing. Genuine science, as opposed to religious incredulity, has shown that all these "irreducibly complex" structures turn out to have parts that have other functions which do or did work in isolation.

I have the greatest respect for GPs, but they are not authorities on the basic science Latham discusses in this book. I have less respect for religiously-inspired writers who twist and distort science to fit their belief system against all rational evidence.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 3 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed (Paperback)
This book is a scientific appraisal of the evidence for evolution and natural selection and is very informative about the science involved and also the non-science still propounded by many so called scientist who do not accept that their theories can be challenged. This book offers a very balanced view of all the arguments about evolutionary theory is totally scientifically based and is a great help to understanding the issues involved.
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The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed
The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed by Antony Latham (Paperback - 1 Jun. 2005)
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