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Why Evolution Is True
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Product Description

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

Customer Reviews:

  • Creationists won't like it!
    I recently finished a first reading of "Why Evolution Is True" and was not going to write a review of it until I saw the most recent review (Mar. 1) which gave it just two stars. My five stars should counteract somewhat this dismal creationist review of a truly wonderful book on evolution. I found it extremely well written, entertaining, and very understandable. I especially like the chapter on sexual selection. What parallels one can draw for the human species! We are certainly more "animal like" than we care to admit. Or is it animals are more human-like?! Anyway, creationists will definitely NOT like this book because, well, it speaks the TRUTH-that evolution is indeed true- and the truth is something creationists have a very tough time with. It never ceases to amaze me how they can dismiss out-of-hand so much hard scientific evidence! Talk about dishonesty! They are the most dishonest people I imagine who have ever lived.
    For all those who strongly suspect evolution to be true but are not entirely convinced this book should seal it for you. For you creationists, why would you bother? You've already made up your mind that evolution isn't true so why waste your time? Unless it's of course to critisize once again an honest and reputable evolutionary scientist. ...more info
  • perhaps the best book on evolution
    The book is clear, well written and easily read even by the layperson. I recommend this book for anyone that wants to learn about evolution. It is a great book packed full of interesting information outlining most if not all forms of evolution; have learned a lot from this book!...more info
  • ...the dangerous mentality of evolution and creationism religions and religions...!
    ...the dangerous mentality of evolution and creationism religions and religions...!
    ...What Evolution really means, and Religious Creationism, is to the level, that my Book of Pure Logic has enabled World Peace, from what the Bible teaches of "evil" and World destruction, and Evolution implies of the survival of the "fittest..."...!

    I will surely receive a few billion $ in Nobel Peace prize, and Literary Academy Logic...!

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  • Creationism running out of places to hide
    With elegance, conciseness, laymen's simplicity and scientific determination, Coyne methodically demolishes, one by one, the places behind which creationism could hide, laying bare their abject incapability to maintain their medieval legends standing.

    It would be utterly impossible for a person who believes in creationism to read this book with an open mind and not have the very foundations of his/her belief shaken to the core.

    Fanatics, on the other hand, cannot be dissuaded, (extremism, by its very nature can't be); which helps understand the reason for the unbridgeable gap among hard-core creationists and the reasoning community. Read some of the reviews of the "one-star raters", and you'll see what I mean. (Don't bother to comment on their ranting, I'd say: the worst kind of blindness is the voluntary one).

    I thoroughly recommend this book, without reservations, as a must-read.
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  • I wish this was the first book on evolution I read as a YEC
    This is the best book on the evidence for evolution I have read. I wish I would have read it years ago.

    I went to a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) teaching high school and have attended very conservative, Genesis-is-literal churches my whole life. I attended required YEC conferences by Kent Hovind and another by Ken Hamm in my High School science classes, and heard John Morris and Duane Gish speak several times in my church.

    Several years ago I decided to read a book on evolution because I couldn't understand why anyone would believe it. So I read "Why Darwin Matters" by Michael Shermer (also a very good book) and then started reading all the books I could find on evolution. The subject is fascinating and I have a new love for science and nature as a result of understanding how evolution works. "Why Evolution is True" is the best book I have read and I will recommend it to any young or old earth creationist, or intelligent design proponent, I meet.

    The explanation of the dating techniques of superposition, radiometric, and coral dating was very straightforward. Wells' experiment with radiometric dating and comparing the dates to the daily and yearly growth rings of coral was one of the best and most straightforward evidences I have read for an old earth.

    The book looks at all the important fossils, especially tracing the development of whales, discussing Haikouella lanceolata being the earliest chordate, and explains Tiktaalik roseae well. The fossils in the human lineage are also explained in excellent detail.

    The genetic portion of evolution books is always the strongest evidence for evolution, in my opinion, and "Why Evolution is True" was no exception. Besides the normal explanations of pseudogenes, Coyne shows how dolphins have 80% of their olfactory receptor genes deactivated through mutation because they are no longer needed underwater. This obviously shows that dolphins evolved from an ancestor that walked on the ground.

    The section on biogeography is especially strong. The evidence presented makes no sense in light of creationist ideas, but all the sense in the world by evolutionary standards.

    "Why Evolution is True" is especially strong at showing how evolution predicts the evidence. Coyne sets up several sections by explaining what evolution predicts in a certain area and then showing how the evidence fits. This rhetorical technique is especially strong if the reader has a good understanding of the scientific method. Because I am a biology major and the emphasis every class puts on the scientific method, it was great to see how strongly evolutionary theory fits into the prediction/test portion of the scientific method.

    The religious and non-religious alike should find "Why Evolution is True" to be accessible. Coyne does not spend much time trying to bash God or hurt religion, just prove evolution true. Because of this I think this book is stronger than many of Dawkins', at least for introducing evolution to religious people. Unfortunately, many Christians don't want to read Dawkins' biology books because of the atheism that is hinted at in his books (although they don't bother me), but I don't think fellow Christians will find that objection to Coyne's book.

    'Why Evolution is True" is a fantastic book that I strongly encourage anyone who loves science or has questions about evolution to read. This is THE book I would start with when I was a young earth creationist, if I could go back in time. I also enjoyed Francis Collins' "The Language of God". I would recommend that book in conjunction to this one if you don't think that religion and evolution can coexist.

    Highly recommended.
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  • A fascinating voyage of discovery of our origins
    "Darwin matters because evolution matters. Evolution matters because science matters. Science matters because it is the preeminent story of our age, an epic saga about who we are, where we came from, and where we are going." (Michael Shermer).
    With this introductory statement, with which I couldn't agree more, starts this fascinating book that everybody who wants to understand evolution should read.
    The author explains why evolution by natural selection is so different from intelligent design. Evolution is like an architect who continually reforms the house by adapting the preexisting building, so that it can never build a perfectly designed building and there are proofs, such as the development of our testes which starts in the abdomen and leads to inguinal hernias or our vestigial appendix or the problems caused in the urethra by the growth of the prostate gland. Natural selection produces fitter beings, but not the fittest. And adaptations must evolve by increasing the reproductive output of its possessor. It is reproduction, not survival, that determines which genes make it to the next generation and cause evolution.
    Darwinism, as any scientific theory, makes testable predictions and the books shows several examples. It also describes recent discoveries of the transitional forms between fish and amphibians and between reptiles and birds.
    It is interesting to learn that the process of speciation was not well understood until de 1930s. The main driving force of a species splitting up into two is geographic isolation. The process of speciation is similar to the process of the divergence of languages.
    Besides the fossil record, one of the proofs of evolution is the artificial breeding of animals and plants and, more recently, the growing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics.
    Against the belief of creationists, natural selection can build complex organs such as eyes, in fact it has done it independently about 40 times.
    In one of the final chapters the book deals about the evolution of hominins. It is now settled that bipedalism came long before the evolution of the human brain.
    Two quotes in chapter 9 will give you the feeling of what are some of the important messages of this book:
    "After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked -as I am surprisingly often- why I bother to get up in the mornings" (Richard Dawkins).
    "I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn't frighten me" (Richard Feynman).
    The author claims that "if the history of science teaches us anything, it is that what conquers our ignorance is research, not giving up and attributing our ignorance to the miraculous work of a creator".
    If you want to embark in a voyage of true discovery of your origins, please read this book.



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  • Smoke, Mirrors and Deceit
    Bacteria does indeed mutate....it is still bacteria.....natural selection on the Galapagos Islands among finches was true.....they were still finches.

    If you think matter + energy + time = life...you might be an evolutionist.

    If you agree with the law of Biogenesis (life only comes from life) you might be a Creationist.

    If you think bacteria + mutation + time = a blue whale....you might be an evolutionist.

    If you think bacteria + mutation + time = mutated bacteria you might be a Creationist.

    If you think nothing + nothing + nothing = time matter energy and space...you might be an evolutionist.

    If agree with the First Law of Thermodynamics that matter and energy is neither created nor destroyed, you might be a Creationist.

    [...]

    Thank you,
    Bill Morgan P.E.
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