In all the current highly publicized debates about creationism and its descendant "intelligent design", there is an element of the controversy that is rarely mentioned: the evidence, the empirical truth of evolution by natural selection. Even Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould, while extolling the beauty of evolution and examining case studies, have not focused on the evidence itself. Yet the proof is vast, varied, and magnificent, drawn from many different fields of science. Scientists are observing species splitting into two and are finding more and more fossils capturing change in the past - dinosaurs that have sprouted feathers, fish that have grown limbs.
Why Evolution Is True weaves together the many threads of modern work in genetics, paleontology, geology, molecular biology, and anatomy that demonstrate the "indelible stamp" of the processes first proposed by Darwin. In crisp, lucid prose accessible to a wide audience, Why Evolution Is True dispels common misunderstandings and fears about evolution and clearly confirms that this amazing process of change has been firmly established as a scientific truth.
NOTE: Some changes to the original text have been made with the author's approval.
©2009 Jerry A. Coyne; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"I once wrote that anybody who didn't believe in evolution must be stupid, insane or ignorant, and I was then careful to add that ignorance is no crime. I should now update my statement. Anybody who doesn't believe in evolution is stupid, insane, or hasn't read Jerry Coyne. I defy any reasonable person to read this marvellous book and still take seriously the 'breathtaking inanity' that is intelligent design 'theory' or its country cousin, young earth creationism." (Richard Dawkins)
"Coyne wonders what it would take to convince the apparently reasonable people who still deny evolution. A new Milton, perhaps, to justify evolution's ways in great poetry? Meanwhile, at a time...when good evolution books are rife, Coyne has given general readers one of the best." (Booklist)
Loved the science, and I thought the author should have let it speak for itself. Thought an inordinate amount of time spent on criticizing intelligent design, and found that to be distracting. The author's tone, which may have been exaggerated by the narrator's interpretation, is one of complete disdain for for those who believe otherwise, and makes him seem petty at times. I found myself wishing for an abridged version which eschewed the editorializing and kept to the science. Overall a very good book.
The book pits itself against Intelligent Design (ID). If you are a believer of ID, and you aren't interested in facts, then this book is very much not for you.
I haven't studied evolution since I was in high school some 30 years ago. I have always just accepted evolution as true and, frankly, simply scoffed at those that purport ID as some kind of equivalent theory. I understand the scientific method and give ID no credence. But, I was really interested in hearing about what had been discovered over the past 30 years and how evolution has, well, evolved.
I was not disappointed. This is a fantastic overview of evolutionary studies and evolutionary evidence. From the fossil records to mapping genomes to evolution in action to the social contributions to evolution, the author makes an overwhelming case for evolution as scientific fact.
How did the eye evolve? Where do whales come from? Why are some male birds brightly colored? Why is there so much missing information? Why are we convinced that evolution is fact when there is so much missing information? The author covers it all.
I just wanted the eduction on evolution. I got that. If you want to bolster your anti-ID argument, you will certainly get that. I will say this...I was blown away by the statistics regarding how many people don't believe that evolution is true and truly dismayed by the suggestion that this number is growing, not shrinking. The author discusses why some of these trends may be occurring, and, more frighteningly, describes what that means to us.
Well written. Well performed. My kids will listen to this book. I will recommend it to anyone and everyone that believes that science and logic are important.
I was always a bit scheptical about the theory of evolution.
This book goes methodically through the different aspects of the theory and the different claims against it, melting one by one.
Coyne does a great job explaining evolution and brings a lot of evidence from various sciences.
The only thing it does not explain in a sufficient way is the mathematical aspect which is only touched upon lightly.
The narration is generally very good, however, the narrator treats the creationists with contemps which does not fit the empathic writing of Coyle.
All in all - a very interesting book, well written.
A beautiful and moving description of the wonders of evolution--probably the best description for the general reader that I have come across. It is clearly and cogently written and argued and, of course, is a great resource for anyone wanting to respond intelligently to proponents of I.D. It is much more than this, however. Anyone who wants to experience the beauty and wonder of evolution (more awe-inspiring than any "creation") will want to read this book. The lack of illustrations mentioned in the text somewhat detracts from the experience (a downloadable pdf file would solve this) but this book is good enough to have in hard copy as well audible.
I haven't finished reading it and so far so good but, why couldn't include a .pdf file for the graphics and illustrations. If you are making an audiobook wouldn't it make sense to include it???
I loved this book: it is full of evidences and they are laid out in a beautifully consistent order. I will take from it better arguments to defend something I believe: evolution theory validity. But I must say: the bits where the author tries to convince the ID believers are annoying. All of the evidences presented are overkill -- if your faith is not directed at science. So, I guess the intellectual investment would be more fruitful if directed at empowering K12 biology teachers. They have a challenge on hands and need any help scientific community could provide.
Read (or listened) to this and Dawkins' "The Greatest Show on Earth" and enjoyed them both. Though there is some overlap, they take different approaches with Coyne focusing more on data and Dawkins providing a more philosophical view. Both are scientifically solid but Coyne is, perhaps a little more rigorous with Dawkins providing more fire and wit.
Detailed, overwhelming evidence
Beautifully written, and covers many areas of research.
It won't convince many young earth creationists who are VERY creative in coming up with scientifically idiotic rebuttles - but if you are open minded & truly want to know why there is no debate about whether evolution is true in the scientific community, this is a great book.
The discoveries, in the ground, in the living, and in genes.I enjoy learning the results of research.
This book is definitely dogmatic. Thoroughly thorough.
As an audible listener I couldn't jump to different chapters, nor see referenced diagrams, etc.
The author 'trounces', (that's the right word for the details and intent), those who wish to disbelieve in evolution.
If you want facts, this book has it. I think every avenue of argument is addressed.
Nevertheless, a fascinating read.
If you not positive if the theory of evolution is true, an objective listening to this audio book will show you the evidence is overwhelming. The author clearly shows it clearly would be ignorance to think otherwise. He also gave me a greater appreciation for Darwin and how truly brilliant he was.
The book has a few blemishes.
If you are religious you will probably be offended by the authors tone. It is clear he is an atheist and appears wants to rub a religious persons nose in the evidence.
The other flaw is even though the author clearly shows the 6 thousand year age of the universe believe by many major religions is clearly wrong. There is still room for God even with evolution. Billions of years ago God to have started the whole beautiful process of evolution which would still leave room for intelligent design.
I enjoyed the book and recommend it.
Report Inappropriate Content