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)
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.
i love it ! nice modern approach to evolution .
P.S. my son had " lanugo " when he was born ; )
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.
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.
1st off, I'm a scientist and science educator. The book clearly is not written to be pleasing to scientists. It is occasionally fast and loose with facts and sloppy with arguments. Some of it is well done, of course. Someone else might disagree with me, but based on my experience teaching the topic, non scientists might find the arguments difficult to follow.
As for the reader, one expects mispronounced scientific terms. I am less bothered by mispronouncing "pseudomonas" (suDOMonas instead of "sudoMOnas") than by his altering of the meaning by mispronouncing or using the wrong word. For example, in chapter 7, I think, he says that reconstructed plant species using induced polyploidy are "infertile" with the wild species when the correct word is "interfertile" with each other. The latter (correct) term establishes that the reconstructed species is the same as the wild one (which is the point)? Using the former term establishes the opposite point. Anyway...i really cannot recommend it.
Promoters of creationism make me crazy and Coyne's book is a wonderful antidote to their misrepresentations of modern biological science. I will be listening to this one again soon.
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