Because Ideas Matter...
The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences presents
Why Evolution is True
by Jerry A. Coyne, Viking 2009
Reviewed by Michael Zimmerman
With great care, careful attention to the
scientific evidence, and a wonderfully accessible style, Coyne, a
University of Chicago ecologist, presents an overwhelming case for
the truth of evolution.
He builds that case by fully explaining the nature of science
and making it clear that "for a theory to be considered scientific,
it must be testable and make verifiable predictions." Coyne
repeatedly provides examples of such predictions, concluding that
"evolutionary theory, then, makes predictions that are bold and
Ranging from biogeography to geology, from anatomy to genetics,
and from molecular biology to physiology, he demonstrates that, in
addition to being clear, those predictions are consistently borne
out by the data. He also shows just how many of those predictions
can actually be attributed back to Darwin.
Additionally, although he is fully respectful of those who
promote intelligent design and other forms of creationism, he uses
the ample data at his disposal to demolish any thought that
creationist ideas might be supported while explaining why, in fact,
those very ideas fall outside the bounds of science.
Coyne also directly addresses the concept often advanced by
religious fundamentalists that an acceptance of evolution must lead
to immorality concluding that "evolution tells us where we came
from, not where we can go."
Readers looking to understand the case for evolution and
searching for a response to many of the most common creationist
claims should find everything they could hope for in this powerful
book. Although other books have covered much the same ground, this
one does so with greater clarity and comprehensiveness.
- Michael Zimmerman is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences and professor of biology at Butler University