Tanja Berg's Reviews > Why Evolution Is True

Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A. Coyne
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's review
Sep 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: evolution
Read from September 18 to 22, 2011

Belief comes first and then rationalization of those beliefs, according to Michael Shermer. Maybe that is why 72% of Americans believe in angels, 60% in the devil and only 45% in Darwin's theory of evolution. That there is abundant evidence for the latter makes no difference at all to what people believe and this is the main reason I gave this rather dull book four stars: it is important. It does state many truths on where this world's creatures, including us, came from - and why.

This book could as well have been called "Why ID is wrong". The arguments against creationism are strewed all through the book and since I don't need to be convinced, it is sometimes irritating. I have learned a lot more about the mindset for creationism than I have learned new things about evolution. I spent 2/3 of the book wondering why creationists dispute evolution so vehemently. It never struck me, ever, while growing up, that Darwin would be any threat to God. That evolution offers another explanation for "creation", so what. It does not make life or nature any less miraculous nor did I see how it would diminish God in any way. Until I got to the bit about humans - then it dawned on me. OH. Human beings are not the pinnacle of creation. Ooops. I can see how that would irk a lot of people.

Evolution is a scientific theory, which means it has been tested over and over again and there is no evidence to disprove it. It is not a religion. To say you believe in evolution is like believing in gravity: it makes no sense as the evidence is all around us. People believe in atoms, electrons, black holes and billions of galaxies - not to speak of all the things people believe in for which there is not a scrap of evidence - it shouldn't be such a stretch to believe that over eons, life evolves. However, as it seems to be that for many, Jerry Coyne has written "why evolution is true". Not that I actually believe he could convince anyone, as evidence is not an issue. There is plenty of evidence in the book, but if you prefer to believe in something else, of course you will continue to do so regardless. The people who sit down and make hard decisions based on evidence are few and far between. I tip my hat to Mr. Coyne for trying and for writing such a clear and lucid book.

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09/19/2011 page 81
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