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Why Evolution Is True
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Why Evolution Is True

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  9,794 ratings  ·  511 reviews
The proof for evolution is vast, varied, and magnificent, drawn from different fields of scientific inquiry. Todat, scientists are documenting species splitting into two, observing animals and plants adapting before our eyes,and finding more and more fossils capturing what happened eons ago--dinosaurs that have sprouted feathers, fish that have grown limbs. In this unique ...more
Paperback, 282 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Penguin Books (first published 2008)
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As I read this book, I wondered: why am I only learning about evolution in depth NOW...and through my own desire to learn? How did I get through school--including a Bachelor's Degree--without really understanding the nitty gritty of evolution? I think much of the problem is that so many discoveries were so recent, but actually there is no excuse. I THInK I paid attention in school. But if I remember learning about Geometry, and, in fact, had at least one high school class CALLED Geometry, should ...more
Shocking and sad

Here in Europe we tend to forget that the USA are not exclusively a country of reason and progress. Books like this remind us that there is also religious fundamentalism and that uneducated people who believe that the world is 6000 years old and favour „intelligent design“ can rise to the highest political offices.

The shocking thing is what this book reveals about the condition of our society. What kind of society is it where brillant scientists feel compelled to waste valuable
I'll come right to the point: Jerry Coyne's "Why Evolution Is True" is arguably the best general-interest reference book on the scientific evidence for evolution currently in print. It really is.

Many of the items that Coyne marshals will be familiar to those who are well-versed in this topic. But I found several items that I had never before seen. One example is the recent discovery that diurnal and annual patterns in the growth of Devonian corals could be used to date these corals, since the le
Douglas Wilson
Coyne admittedly had the uphill struggle of trying to prove something that is not true.
I picked this book after reading Dawkins' Greatest Show on Earth. After a series of conversations I had with some young-earth creationists, and in light of what is occurring in the battle for science curriculum here in Texas, I wanted to find a book that I could recommend to creationists, since most creationists have absolutely no clue about the actual science. Dawkins' book is not that book because he is unable to keep his contempt for young-earth creationists out of the conversation. I think t ...more
This book avoids bickering over details and goes right for the throat; exposing Creationism and Intelligent Design for the unworkable, unscientific ploys that they are. It does so without being too aggressive, a la Dawkins, because such heavy hitting really isn't necessary, when there's so much evidence to be presented. Instead, the chapters cover fossils and a little bit of genetics. The reader is walked through the process of how we came to know what we know. It's not a challenging book, nor a ...more
I'd give it 2.5 stars if I could. Seeing how I think he's wrong, though, I'll downgrade rather than upgrade.

I probably agree with 70% of what's in the book, which may be surprising, me being a creationist. I'm not going to try to untangle all the mixtures of agreement and disagreement.. but its interesting that I definitely am fully onboard with over half of the book, but still disagree with the major premise; that evolution is true.

Coyne succeeds in presenting a case for neo-darwinian evolution
First of all, this is a very well-written book that powerfully makes the case for Darwinian evolution. The author is well-versed in the subject. I would recommend this book to anyone who, like me, has little knowledge of the actual science of evolution but wants to learn.

That said, I am not really bothered by evolution (and I am an evangelical Christian, though not a creationist). Yes there are theological challenges that the science of evolution brings to scripture. I don't think these challen
This one is like the Beak of the Finch: it shows impressive work on Natural Selection, but it doesn't prove that the little changes must lead to the huge changes between people and animals. This book also illustrates how scientists are trying to be historians--a kind of integrating of subjects--and they are failing miserably. If any historian tried to pass of these kinds of arguments as history they wouldn't survive the laughter. Evolutionists reason like this: if these two bone structures look ...more
This was such an awesome book. I have read a lot of books on evolution, but this is the first that actually made me interested in fossils. Very, very cool. Of course it wouldn't convince a dummy that evolution is true because you actually have to have some reading comprehension and be able to understand what you read, but for anyone with a brain that doesn't believe in evolution (I still can't undertand how there are people out there that fit that bill, but I digress), this book will remove all ...more
This is a suggested book related to one of my current classes on Coursera, so I decided to pick it up. I already believe in evolution, so I can't judge on whether it's convincing -- I already know that evolution by natural selection is mathematically inevitable, and I know of a lot of the supporting evidence.

Still, this is the kind of book that produces all sorts of titbits that you didn't know before, and which lays things out so clearly it helps you understand how to explain it to other peopl
John Martindale
Well, I now have a new understanding why evolutionist feel so strongly and are so insistent that evolution is true. The evidence in this book is truly staggering, much of which I had never heard before. The book is well written and he seemed like a pretty reasonable guy, quick to mention when something is speculation and when something (according to the scientific community) is established fact. He bent over backwards to show that evolution is science in the fullest sense of the word and is scie ...more
David S. T.
This book is fascinating and well written. I think the highest complement I could give it is, had I read it 10 years ago when I was in college, I'd likely be in the field of biology instead of computer science. This book starts off with a basic overview of evolution before heading into the bulk of the evidence. The first section of evidence is based off of fossils, I didn't realize just how many transitional fossils exist for certain species such as the whale (there a pretty good number of fossi ...more
I really enjoyed this book. Basically, it's a several-hundred page review of the major arguments for not only why scientists accept the theory biological evolution, but why it is so well accepted that it is stated to be 'true'. Each chapter breaks down a part of the evidence -- fossils, embryology, genetic evidence, observations of natural selection, the role of sex in evolution, speciation, and so on. Usually the general case is talked about, with examples about specific evidence, though the au ...more
This is a remarkable book. It is written by someone who is really interested in educating people and not just laying out facts. I loved the tone of the author and am now following his blog Why Evolution is True which is really interesting and amusing (this guy really loves cats!). He almost daily posts lots of interesting facts about evolution.

There's a good YT video about this book that people may be interested in seeing before reading the book

Before buy
I have recently been interested in the topic of evolution. I am a Bible believing creationist and I have heard of many questions that seem to really challenge the theory of evolution. For me when considering an argument I try to consider both sides of the argument with an open mind. So I picked up this book with the intention to have an open mind and hear the "other side of the story".

Unfortunately I was very disappointed. Based on the title of this book "Why Evolution is True" I was expecting t
An excellent introductory text to evolution and the copious amounts of evidence that supports it. Coyne doesn't get into the nitty-gritty of genetics which makes my eyes glaze over (that's a subject I need to read up on and learn!) so it is very easily accessible to a layperson. Coyne concentrates on the science and doesn't veer onto a soapbox with regard to creationism. There are some comments, but it is not hammered at relentlessly. His final chapter about the evolution of man (and all its mys ...more
Once again a great scientific mind has stooped to the lowest common denominator; mindlessly bickering with the creationist argument. I was expecting evolution/creationist argument in the preface, maybe even in the first chapter. Unfortunately, It's littered throughout the book. I understand that some readers actually enjoy this mindless drubbing, if so, this book is for you. What I was hoping for was a deeper biological understanding of speciation and specialization, and to Coyne's credit there ...more
Scarlett Sims
I chose to read this book to learn more about the science behind evolution, at least partially so I could defend or explain it to people. However, Coyne's writing style left much to be desired.

At the parts where he did actually discuss evidence for evolution (which he often mislabeled as "proof"), I enjoyed learning about it. However, he repeatedly attempted to use this information to discredit creationism, his main argument being "See.... why would a creator do this?" which is obviously neither
Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A. Coyne
Why Evolution Is True is my favorite book on evolution. It starts of course with the prodigious knowledge of Mr. Coyne but it’s his ability to explain such complex topics with ease that sets this book apart from the rest. It’s profound without being unintelligible. It’s always the first book I recommend when I want to convince someone that the theory of evolution is true and supported by converging mountains of evidence. The book is composed of the followin
Oh, I am such a cheater this month! I totally started this book a couple of days ago but, in my defense, I finished it up this morning....I just couldn't help myself.

Evolution. Very few words in science can raise the religious hackles and get the debate juices flowing like this one. Even numerous court trials have become involved to help decide if evolution is science fact or fiction and whether the opposing viewpoint - creationism - deserves to be taught and considered on the same academic leve
I hesitated before buying this book because I was a little put off by the title. I already assumed evolution was "true" (as much as any scientific knowledge can be considered "the truth"), and I was more interested in knowing how it works, and the history of it all, from the first micro-organisms to now.

The "how" part is covered pretty well, and by covering the "how" the author addresses creationist or "intelligent design" arguments and provides a clear, rational, and most importantly scientifi
In this book, Coyne puts together numerous examples to explain evolution to a layman, and perhaps one who does not believe in it (though I doubt this). It is very well organized, and many interesting examples are cited (which should be expected from a book about biodiversity, why cite boring ones when there are cool ones everywhere?) slowly building towards the whole idea of evolution. After finishing this book, you should have a good knowledge of what evolution is, how it happened, and go on an ...more
WHY EVOLUTION IS TRUE. ((2009). Jerry A. Coyne. ****.
The author is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, and has been there for over twenty years. The purpose of his book is to present the arguments for the validity of evolution and against the concept of intelligent design. The work is full of examples and references of the ability of Darwin’s theory to make predictions and tests which have been made that show its validity. No such capabilities are
See my full review in the Washington Post here:

"For those who want to understand the evidence for evolution, Jerry A. Coyne's Why Evolution Is True is a fine place to start. As his unsubtle title suggests, Coyne's purpose is to banish the arguments of creationists and their intelligent design fellow travelers. Much as Darwin did, he draws upon geology and the fossil record; biogeography, or the distribution of plants and animals; and the similarities and differences among livin
As a firm believer in the God of the Bible and his work in the creation of all things I picked up this book to try to become better educated on the subject of evolution. Coyne's writing is clear and concise. He is a good communicator and uses plenty of sources and examples for which I was grateful.

Rather than completely contradicting my theistic view, many (yet not all) of his points broadened my appreciation of the immensity and beauty of God's creation. Although his end-of-book thoughts on evo
ჩემი აზრით ეს წიგნი ყველამ უნდა წაიკითხოს, განსაკუთრებით სტუდენტებმა და მოსწავლეებმა. რადგან ევოლუცია და ჩვენი წარმოშობა უმნიშვნელოვანესი საკითხია, ეს წიგნი კი კარგი შესავალი წინამდებარე საკითხში - თუ რატომ უნდა დავუჯეროთ ამ თეორიას.
ევოლუცია ძალიან დიდი თემაა თუმცა ჯერი კოინმა კარგად მოახერხა ევოლუციის მტკიცებულებების მნიშვნელოვანი ნაწილი მოექცია მცირე წიგნში. შეხვდებით ბევრ საინტერესო მტკიცებულებას, ნამარხებიდან, ბიოგეოგრაფიიდან, ევოლუციური ნარჩენი და ატავისტური ორგანოებიდან, მოლეკულური ბიოლოგ
A real scientist would never say evolution is a fact. Have they changed a fly into a dog yet? Dan Shectman won the noble prize for chemistry. He battled against established science for years. Lost jobs and told he was stupid. He forced scientists to reconsider their conception of the very nature of matter. To call evolution a fact is to place your mind in a box. You will never find truth that way.
Jan 22, 2015 Yousuf rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in evolution-creation controversy
Good Overview, But Contains Straw Men

This is a good summary for the pro-Evolution side if anyone is researching the evolution-creation controversy. It goes through the fossil evidence, genetic evidence, geological evidence, and more for Evolution via natural selection (and other naturalistic processes). The author writes in a clear and logical manner, and generally avoids the confrontational polemics that other writers such as Richard Dawkins are prone to.

My main objection is that Coyne uses mis
Evanston Public  Library
Like most high school students in the early ‘80s, I was taught the theory of evolution and natural selection in the classroom. But up until recently, I still found it difficult to comprehend how the sophisticated human could have evolved from ancestral monkeys. Mr. Coyne’s Why Evolution is True not only explains evolution from a 21st-century perspective that far surpasses my high school textbooks, he answered many questions about the evolutionary process that—until I read Coyne’s book—had left m ...more
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The Challenge Fac...: Camille & Clémentine•Why Evolution Is True 12 20 Feb 12, 2013 10:59AM  
Terrible, terrible audiobook - DO NOT BUY 4 88 Mar 14, 2012 07:23AM  
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  • Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution
  • The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution
  • Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
  • Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul
  • Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea
  • Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body
  • Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction
  • River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life
  • What Evolution Is
  • The Counter-Creationism Handbook
  • Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth
  • Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul
  • Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life
  • Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End...
  • Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA
  • God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist
Jerry Coyne is a professor in the department of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago. His concentration is speciation and ecological and evolutionary genetics, particularly as they involve Drosophila

His work is widely published, not only in scientific journals, but also in such mainstream venues as The New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, and The New Republic. Coyne's peer
More about Jerry A. Coyne...
Speciation Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible Speciation and Its Consequences Creon's Ghost Law Justice and the Humanities

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“These mysteries about how we evolved should not distract us from the indisputable fact that we did evolve.” 16 likes
“Now, science cannot completely exclude the possibility of supernatural explanation. It is possible - though very unlikely - that our whole world is controlled by elves.” 14 likes
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