Why Evolution is True

Why Evolution is True

4.15 (14,168 ratings on Goodreads)
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For all the discussion in the media about creationism and 'Intelligent Design', virtually nothing has been said about the evidence in question - the evidence for evolution by natural selection. Yet, as this succinct and important book shows, that evidence is vast, varied, and magnificent, and drawn from many disparate fields of science. The very latest research is uncovering a stream of evidence revealing evolution in action - from the actual observation of a species splitting into two, to new fossil discoveries, to the deciphering of the evidence stored in our genome. Why Evolution is True weaves together the many threads of modern work in genetics, palaeontology, geology, molecular biology, anatomy, and development to demonstrate the 'indelible stamp' of the processes first proposed by Darwin. It is a crisp, lucid, and accessible statement that will leave no one with an open mind in any doubt about the truth of evolution.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 146 x 220 x 26mm | 621.42g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 27 b&w drawings
  • 0199230846
  • 9780199230846
  • 189,335

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. What is Evolution?; 2. Written in The Rocks; 3. Remnants: Vestiges, Embryos, and Bad Design; 4. The Geography of Life; 5. The Engine of Evolution; 6. How Sex Drives Evolution; 7. The Origin of Species; 8. What about Us?; 9. Evolution Redux; Glossary; Suggestions for Further Reading; Referencesshow more

Review quote

If you want a direct response to creationism, then Jerry Coyne's recent book 'Why Evolution is True' is your book. Clive Cookson, Financial Times Powerful and popular book. Randy Olson, New Scientist 'Why Evolution Is True' suceeds in being fully accessible to any reader who has even a vague idea of what DNA is.' Douglas J. Futuyma, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol.24, No. 7 It is a book that needed to be written and needs to be read. Douglas J. Futuyma, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 24, No. 7 One of the very best and most important book on evolution for broad audiences in at least 50 years. Douglas J. Futuyma, Trends in Ecology and Evolution A scholarly, yet delightfully readable account. Tom Tregenza, Current Biology, Volume 19 We must present the evidence, and Jerry Coyne's book does an excellent job of it. Massimo Pigliucci, Science Evolution is true...Coyne displays it for us in a way that no objective reader could fail to find compelling. Richard Dawkins, TLS 'Why Evolution is True'is outstandingly good. Richard Dawkins, TLS Coyne's knowledge of evolutionary biology is prodigious, his deployment of it as masterful as his touch is light. Richard Dawkins, TLS His coverage is enviably comprehensive, yet he simultaneously manages to keep the book compact and readable. Richard Dawkins, TLS Coyne's book is just what we needed in this bicentennial year to anchor Darwin where he belongs. Nigel Hawkes, The Times Selected as onf of the 'Fifity Books for our Time'. Newsweek A clear, engaging, accessible explanation of the evidence for evolution. Massimo Pigliucci, Science Excellent volume. Clive Cookson, Financial Times Lucid, thorough and eminently readable, this book is a delight from start to finish. Doug Johnstone, Scotsman.com Coyne gives a clear and engaging overview of what evolution is, and how it works. BBC Focus Coyne is as graceful a stylist and as clear a scientific explainer as Darwin himself (no mean feat). It's one of the best single-volume introductions to evolutionary theory ever. Wired magazine A masterfully concise reinstating of [Darwin's] big idea. Karen Shook, THE There are many superb books on evolution, but this one is superb in a new way -- it explains the latest evidence for evolution lucidly, thoroughly, and with devastating effectiveness. Steven Pinker For anyone who wishes a clear, well-written explanation of evolution by one of the foremost scientists working on the subject, 'Why Evolution is True' should be your choice. E. O. Wilson 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: aybody who doesn't believe in evolution is stupid, insane, or hasn't read Jerry Coyne. Richard Dawkins An engaging and accessible account of one of the most important ideas ever conceived by mankind. The book is a stunning achievement, written by one of the world's leading evolutionary biologists. Coyne has produced a classic. Neil Shubin, author of 'Your Inner Fish'show more

Review Text

Coyne (Ecology and Evolution/Univ. of Chicago) patiently explains that the "theory" of evolution is neither open to question, nor one of several alternative theories. Indeed, he writes, the accumulation of fossil finds, the use of molecular genetics to establish kinships and estimate the years since species shared a common ancestor, as well as the existence of intermediate forms (between reptiles and birds for example) are all neatly laid out. So, too, are the atavisms (like tails in humans) reminding us that we carry remnants of our past in our genes. Nor are species perfect, as presumably an Intelligent Designer would fashion them to be. Numerous examples - including the male urethra running through the prostate gland and the narrow female pelvis that enables bipedal walking but also inflicts great pain during the birth of our big-headed babies - demonstrate how nature compromises, configuring new features but making do with parts at hand. Coyne discusses natural selection as the engine of evolution, but also mentions genetic drift, whereby random changes can occur in gene frequencies over time in a small, isolated population. Sex also drives evolution, as Coyne illustrates with many examples of male competition and female choice. The abundant evidence provided makes this an apt primer for high-school biology teachers. But there's more here than that. The closing chapters address what is the real issue for anti-evolutionists: the fear that subscribing to Darwin's ideas reduces humans to materialist beasts lacking "moral values." You can't derive meaning, purpose or ethics from evolution, Coyne responds, taking to task those extreme determinists who look for evolutionary adaptations in every bit of human behavior. The study of nature may be a spiritual experience, he acknowledges, citing scientists like Einstein who found it so, but evolution is neither moral nor immoral. It just is.Richly detailed evidence to counter the Intelligent Design argument. (Kirkus Reviews)show more
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