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Why Evolution Is True | [Jerry A. Coyne]

Why Evolution Is True

Why evolution is more than just a theory: it is a fact. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Why evolution is more than just a theory: it is a fact.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Pixelated New York, NY United States 11-30-12
    Pixelated New York, NY United States 11-30-12 Member Since 2011

    Pixelated

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    "Great so far but..."
    Where does Why Evolution Is True rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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???


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre Lima Sao Paulo, Brazil 11-20-12
    Andre Lima Sao Paulo, Brazil 11-20-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Very convincing, if you believe in DNA ;)"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy Ardmore, OK, United States 11-01-12
    Randy Ardmore, OK, United States 11-01-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A worthwhile listen"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Michael 06-30-12
    Michael 06-30-12
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    "Overwhelming Evidence"
    If you could sum up Why Evolution Is True in three words, what would they be?

    Detailed, overwhelming evidence


    What did you like best about this story?

    Beautifully written, and covers many areas of research.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralph Bothell, WA, United States 06-12-12
    Ralph Bothell, WA, United States 06-12-12 Member Since 2014
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    "A thorough examination of the Whys of Evolution"
    What made the experience of listening to Why Evolution Is True the most enjoyable?

    The discoveries, in the ground, in the living, and in genes.I enjoy learning the results of research.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The details.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael Lowell, MA, United States 04-13-11
    michael Lowell, MA, United States 04-13-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Disappointing"

    I actually have no vested interest one way or the other Creation vs Evolution. But I have always been fascinated by the debate, its logic, what each camp assumes, what each camp ignores.

    He spends far too much time ranting about how STUPID those creationist idiots are. His fawning over Darwin, and the reverence with which he utters the title of the book "Origin" might as well be referring to a prophet and a bible.

    Although there are different ways to state it, most agree that there are three aspects that need to be proven separately: common descent, heritable variation that produces new forms, and natural selection. He does clearly lay out the argument and evidence for common descent and natural selection. But he is frustratingly silent about the main unproven part of Darwinian Evolution - can random variations produce novel forms.

    Though I am sure he would disagree, I found several sections to be circular - "Since evolution is true it must have caused what we see in nature. We see these things in nature, therefore evolution is true."

    11 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Brookfield, WI, United States 03-15-11
    Brian Brookfield, WI, United States 03-15-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Solid Book with convincing evidence!"

    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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    greg SCHILLER PARK, ILLINOIS, United States 02-15-11
    greg SCHILLER PARK, ILLINOIS, United States 02-15-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Illuminating and humble , facts not speculations"

    i love it ! nice modern approach to evolution .
    P.S. my son had " lanugo " when he was born ; )

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Oklahoma City, OK, United States 01-29-11
    Carolyn Oklahoma City, OK, United States 01-29-11 Member Since 2009
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    "A revelation"

    Although I enjoyed and appreciated the excellent audio update on my less-than-thorough education in evolutionary theory, this book is one which I will purchase in hardback for my permanent home library! It is well-written, concise, elegant and easy for the non-scientist to understand. A beautiful piece of work, worthy of review again and again. Highly recommended.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Joe 04-12-10
    Joe 04-12-10
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    "Devestating to the young earth creationist myth."

    While I already understood evolution to the degree that I could correct creationists in academic settings, I having once been a young earth creationist/anti-evolutionist knew it was near impossible to get creationists to shed their mythology if they were unwilling to read a simple science book. However, Jerry Coyne, while somewhat heavy for the first 20 minutes or so, soon gives devastating example after example after example of easy to recall layered facts of evolution that you can simply draw out on a napkin if need be to a creationist who will either have to say you are lying, or be in complete denial and/or intense adherence to their myth to explain away what you just told them.

    If a well known creationist claims she or he read this book and claims it didn't at least nearly prove evolution is true, it is clear evidence that they are lying about reading it or lying to protect the income of the patrons of their own books. If you get the chance, have them dispute just the one example of the Ostriches, Emus, and Rheas. They won't, because they can't.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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