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)
If you have an elementary (basic) grasp of evolution, this book will go into detail about the process -- citing scientific facts, fossil discoveries, etc.
My one criticism of the book is not in the content but in some of the creative choices made in the reading of the book -- in particular the narrator's choice to do an English accent when reading quotes by Charles Darwin. Most of the passages quoted are long and the narrator tends to slip in and out of some kind of English accent. It would have been preferable for the narrator to keep reading consistently in his native accent.
If you can bear the occasional jolt of the narrator's less-than-convincing English accent, you just might learn a lot from this book.
An excellent comprehensive dissertation on Evolution, and a brilliant systematic destruction of the ridiculous religious notion of creationism. Jerry Coyne progresses logically but with a passionate conviction born of scientific materialism, through the past wealth of accumulated knowledge garnered by mankind over a fleetingly brief period of our evolutionary history is the one species capable of figuring a lot of the stuff out, rather than relying on the fears and superstitions of the ancients.
This is an excellent overview of evolution and some of the documentation for the interested non scientist interested in learning about the subject matter. The only (understandable) downside is the lack of illustrations.
The narration isn't a distraction which is the biggest issue with most audio books. This narrator does a solid B+ job. I'd give him an A but self read books sometimes have a little something that professional narrators don't alway bring.
The topic and content of the book are written very well. I do not subscribe to the theory of evolution and I do feel like there are holes in Coyne's description but he has more than anyone laid out a great explanation. Any problems if have with the material are not a lack of the quality and care of the evidence he brings but instead my own questions that were unanswered. Still I'd say this is a must read for anyone that does not believe in Evolution.
Dr. Coyne sets out to convince the reader of evolution by natural selection, using evidence. He does so in the first few pages. And again and again in every chapter. That may seem like overkill, but there are people who are "willfully" ignorant, who put their fingers in their ears, and if if if they can be reached by reason and evidence, this book will do it. Some backward pre-scientific people, of course, can't be persuaded even by this mountain of evidence. Shame.
My only complaint is a pet peeve: the narrator mispronounces a few words, some of them rather important to the topic. For example, zoology and zoologist. Hey – if it were really pronounced "zoo-ology" there would have to be 3 o's, and not 2. It's "zo-ology" dammit.
Excellent work and presented well. Narrated in a logical and easy to understand manner. Interesting and very thoughtful presentation. I enjoyed listening to this topic.
Overall Why Evolution Is True is a well researched & accurate portrayal of how life on this planet developed. Some parts of the text were dry & a little over scientific. However, that is to be expected in a book on this topic. The audio version also lacked the ability to refer to the diagrams that were
frequently referenced in the reading. The narration of the book flowed well & I believe the author did a good job of presenting creationism & evolution.
What a primer o this amazing topic. Loved it. Evolution is a simple mechanism yet with such complex ramifications. Totally recommend.
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