Book Review: Evolution - The Grand Experiment: Vol. 2 - Living Fossils by Dr. Carl Werner [New Leaf Press, 2008]

Having reviewed Carl Werner’s Evolution: The Grand Experiment – Volume 1 a few months back, I eagerly awaited the opportunity to crack open Volume 2: Living Fossils. Like the first volume, Living Fossils is presented in an easy-to-read format aimed at the general public and is filled with beautiful full color photographs of fossils and animals throughout. As they say, A picture is worth a thousand words. Once again, Werner’s book is a Godsend for visual learners.

While Volume 1 tackled several lines of evidence used to support evolution at once, this volume deals with one specific issue.

Basically, Dr. Carl Werner set out to test the evolutionary model in the following manner:

“I predicted that if evolution was not true, then animals and plants would not change significantly over time. Accordingly, I predicted I should find fossils of modern animal and plant species in the “older” fossil layers” [p. 10].

He notes that “the naming of species is subjective and, at times, I find species and genus names unreliable” [p. 23]. As an example, he notes that scientists once mistakenly believed different “races” of humans represented more than 15 different species, while modern genetics have proven we are but one species. He also notes wide variations in dogs, in a single species of oysters and in sassafras leaves [even from the same tree]. He further noted that while he and his wife photographed many modern-appearing plants and animals in the fossil record, not one fossil was assigned a modern species name. He became convinced that evolutionist were playing what he calls the Naming Game.

As he puts it:

“If a paleontologist was unfamiliar with the variations within living species, it is possible  he or she could misinterpret differences and mistakenly give each fossil a new, erroneous species name, based on minor changes only. Taking it one step further, this name change could give the false impression that evolution, or dramatic change, has occured over time. The only way this can be sorted out is to look at the fossils and living forms” [p. 18]. 

This is exactly what Dr. Werner has set out to do in this volume; He painstakingly takes us through the plant and animal kingdoms, showing us modern-looking dinosaur era fossils and their probable living counterparts. It is an amazing book of which Dr. Werner should be proud.

I can’t wait to check out the next book in the series.

You can find out more about the book and follow a link to purchase it at


-Rev Tony Breeden
From the Bookwyrm’s Lair

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