Why Evolution Is True

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"Coyne's knowledge of evolutionary biology is prodigious, his deployment of it as masterful as his touch is light." -Richard Dawkins

In the current debate about creationism and intelligent design, there is an element of the controversy that is rarely mentioned-the evidence. Yet the proof of evolution by natural selection is vast, varied, and magnificent. In this succinct and accessible summary of the facts supporting the theory of natural selection, Jerry A. Coyne dispels common misunderstandings and fears about evolution and clearly confirms the scientific truth that supports this amazing process of change. Weaving 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, Why Evolution Is True does not aim to prove creationism wrong. Rather, by using irrefutable evidence, it sets out to prove evolution right.
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About the author

Jerry A. Coyne is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, where he specialized in evolutionary genetics. He is also the author of Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible.
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Additional Information

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Published on
Jan 22, 2009
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Religion / Religion & Science
Science / Life Sciences / Biology
Science / Life Sciences / Evolution
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

Ultimii 500 de ani au fost martorii conflictelor de proporții monumentale dintre știință și credință, de la sentința de arest la domiciliu pe viață primită de Galileo în 1632, din cauza afirmației sale că sistemul nostru solar ar avea Soarele în centru, la „Procesul Maimuțelor“ din 1925, încleștarea titanică dintre Clarence Darrow și William Jennings Bryan asupra chestiunii dacă un profesor de liceu le-ar putea spune elevilor săi că oamenii evoluaseră din maimuţă (juriul a decis că nu). Profesorii de astăzi încă se mai luptă să predea evoluția; boli ale copilăriei de multă vreme eradicate încă mai izbucnesc în focare din cauza obiecțiunilor religioase față de vaccinare; în ciuda victoriilor legale, există încă dezbateri aprinse asupra dreptului la avort, a sinuciderii asistate și a homosexualității; oamenii de știință care se tem să nu rămână fără finanțare de la buget (controlată de comitete formate din politicieni ce neagă existența schimbărilor climatice) se agață de „împăciuitorism“ ca de ultimul refugiu – nu am putea să ne tolerăm reciproc convingerile și să ne înțelegem între noi? Biologul evoluționist Jerry A. Coyne nu ar putea să ne spună mai clar: răspunsul său este „un nu absolut“. Știința și religia sunt incompatibile pentru că dispun de metode diferite de a obține informații despre realitate, au metode diferite de a afirma că aceste cunoștințe sunt dovedite și, în final, ajung la concluzii conflictuale despre univers. „Cunoașterea“ dobândită de religie se află în conflict nu doar cu informațiile științifice, ci și cu ceea ce afirmă celelalte religii. În cele din urmă, metodele religiei, spre deosebire de cele ale științei, nu ne sunt de folos pentru a înțelege realitatea.
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