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Why Evolution Is True Audio CD – Audiobook, 20 Nov 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Audiobook, 20 Nov 2012
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
£14.40 FREE Delivery in the UK. Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 weeks. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Corporation; Unabridged edition (20 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146923307X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469233079
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,007,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"[Coyne] makes an unassailable case."
-"New York Times"
"In nine crisp chapters...the respected evolutionary biologist lays out an airtight case that Earth is unspeakably old and that new species evolve from previous ones."
-"Boston Globe"
"Coyne's book is the best general explication of evolution that I know of and deserves its success as a best seller."
-R.C. Lewontin, "New York Review of Books"
"I recommend that Mr. Coyne's insightful and withering assessment of evolutionary studies of human psychology and behavior be taped to the bathroom mirrors of all those (perhaps especially journalists) inclined to be swept into excited announcements of What Evolution Shows About Us."
-Philip Kitcher, "Wall Street Journal"
"With logic and clarity, Coyne presents the vast trove of scientific evidence that supports Darwin's theory."
-"Cleveland Plain Dealer"
"It's always a pleasure to tell people about a wonderful book, especially when the subject of the book is of universal and critical importance. Evolutionary geneticist Jerry A. Coyne has given us such a book...A book that may change the way you look at things-if you dare."
-"The Huffington Post"
"In this 200th anniversary year of Darwin's birth, "Why Evolution is True" ranks among the best new titles flooding bookstores."
-"Christian Science Monitor"


"[Coyne] makes an unassailable case."
-"New York Times"
"In nine crisp chapters...the respected evolutionary biologist lays out an airtight case that Earth is unspeakably old and that new species evolve from previous ones."
-"Boston Globe"
"Coyne's book is the best general explication of evolution that I know of and deserves its success as a best seller."
-R.C. Lewontin, "New York Review of Books"
"I recommend that Mr. Coyne's insightful and withering assessment of evolutionary studies of human psychology and behavior be taped to the bathroom mirrors of all those (perhaps especially journalists) inclined to be swept into excited announcements of What Evolution Shows About Us."
-Philip Kitcher, "Wall Street Journal"
"With logic and clarity, Coyne presents the vast trove of scientific evidence that supports Darwin's theory."
-"Cleveland Plain Dealer"
"It's always a pleasure to tell people about a wonderful book, especially when the subject of the book is of universal and critical importance. Evolutionary geneticist Jerry A. Coyne has given us such a book...A book that may change the way you look at things-if you dare."
-"The Huffington Post"
"In this 200th anniversary year of Darwin's birth, "Why Evolution is True" ranks among the best new titles flooding bookstores."
-"Christian Science Monitor"

"Coyne's book is the best general explication of evolution that I know of and deserves its success as a best seller."
-R.C. Lewontin, New York Review of Books
"[Coyne] makes an unassailable case."
-New York Times
"In nine crisp chapters...the respected evolutionary biologist lays out an airtight case that Earth is unspeakably old and that new species evolve from previous ones."
-Boston Globe
"I recommend that Mr. Coyne's insightful and withering assessment of evolutionary studies of human psychology and behavior be taped to the bathroom mirrors of all those (perhaps especially journalists) inclined to be swept into excited announcements of What Evolution Shows About Us."
-Philip Kitcher, Wall Street Journal
"With logic and clarity, Coyne presents the vast trove of scientific evidence that supports Darwin's theory."
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
"It's always a pleasure to tell people about a wonderful book, especially when the subject of the book is of universal and critical importance. Evolutionary geneticist Jerry A. Coyne has given us such a book...A book that may change the way you look at things-if you dare."
-The Huffington Post
"In this 200th anniversary year of Darwin's birth, Why Evolution is True ranks among the best new titles flooding bookstores."
-Christian Science Monitor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

I once wrote that anybody who didn't believe in evolution must be stupid, insane or ignorant, and I was then careful to add that ignorance is no crime. I should now update my statement. Anybody who doesn't believe in evolution is stupid, insane, or hasn't read Jerry Coyne. I defy any reasonable person to read this marvellous book and still take seriously the 'breathtaking inanity' that is intelligent design 'theory' or its country cousin, young earth creationism. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jerry Coyne is a bit annoyed that it was necessary to write this book. I am glad he got annoyed enough to write it. In part he is writing against the intelligent design movement, and against creationism and he shows the flaws in these viewpoints not with rhetoric, but with well chosen evidence.

The book is a powerful and straightforward account of evolution showing the strength of the theory, its ability to make predictions, and giving many examples of the evidence on which evolution is based. After reading the book you have a good idea of what evolution is about, and what fields of study it applies in. Coyne is clear that evolution is a theory in biology of great explanatory power. The key idea is that of descent with modification.

He is also clear (in his final chapter evolution redux) of the limits to evolutionary thinking. Good scientists know what they know, and also have some idea where their knowledge stops. Coyne demonstrates this ability well. By doing this he becomes a far better advocate for evolution than Dawkins.

Evolution is not an ontological or moral theory. You can derive no moral lesson from evolution- it just is (p253). David Hume pointed out that deriving an ought from an is is usually to make a specious argument. The fact that the idea of evolution as progress has been misused by many is not an argument against evolution. It is an argument against the misuse of ideas.

Coyne (p248)describes that, "There is an increasing (and disturbing) tendency of psychologists, biologists and philosophers to Darwinize every aspect of human behaviour, turning its study into a scientific parlour game.
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Format: Hardcover
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution". That classic quote from the great Russian-American evolutionary geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky is replete with far more truth now than when he uttered it in 1973. Thousands of scientists around the globe are using the principles of evolution towards understanding phenomena as simple as bacterial population growth to those as complex as the origin and spread of such virulent diseases as malaria and HIV/AIDS, and the conservation of many endangered plant and animal species. There is no other scientific theory I know of that has withstood such rigorous, and repeated, testing as the modern synthetic theory of evolution. The overwhelming proof of biological evolution is so robust, that entire books have been written describing pertinent evidence from sciences that, at first glance, seem as dissimilar from each other as paleobiology, molecular biology and ecology. But alas this hasn't convinced many in the court of public opinion, especially here, in the United States, who remain skeptical of evolution as both a scientific fact and a scientific theory, and who are too often persuaded by those who insist that there are such compelling "weaknesses" in evolution, that instead of it, better, still "scientific", alternatives exist, most notably, Intelligent Design creationism. Distinguished evolutionary geneticist Jerry Coyne's "Why Evolution Is True" is not just a timely book, but it is quite simply, the best, most succinct, summation I can think of on behalf of evolution's scientific validity.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
That loudmouth Daily Mail journalist Melanie Philips once opined that evolution is a theory, not a fact. She meant presumably that evolution is 'speculation': that the evidence as it stands does not lean toward creationism or Darwinism. Hence, on the evidence there is, it is equally reasonable to opt to `believe' in either.

There are a lot of people out there who would agree with her. They need read Jerry A. Coyne's book which tackles the misunderstandings about Darwinian theory head-on. Evolution is indeed a theory, but that does not make it speculation. As Coyne explains, in science a 'theory' is much more than speculation about how things are: it is `a well thought-out group of propositions meant to explain facts about the real world.' Second, for a theory to be scientific, as opposed to mere speculation, it must be `testable and able to make verifiable predictions' and, third, `the scientific theories can be tested against other theories (pp 15-17).

What facts, then, support the theory of evolution - what predictions does it make that have been confirmed? Here are a few salient examples Coyle offers.

First of all there is the movement from simplicity to complexity. If life has evolved ever greater complexity over eons of time, the theory predicts that the fossil record should show greater and greater complexity over time. The oldest layers of rocks contain simple fossils, younger layers more complex examples. Evolution predicts simple organisms evolved before complex ones, with transitional fossils between simpler and more complex fossils. The fossil record does indeed confirm this prediction (see page 30)

So take the largest mammal on Earth, the blue whale, the distant ancestor of which was a shallow-water dwelling hippopotamus.
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