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Reviewing Why Evolution Is True Review

Reviewing Why Evolution Is True Review

Sample Answer 

Reviewing Why Evolution Is True Review

The research of Professor Jerry A. Coyne tends to focus on evolutionary genetics and speciation. In his book titled Why Evolution Is True, he defends the theory of modern evolution, which he argues can be described in a single sentence; the evolution of life on Earth was a gradual process that began with a single primitive specie that lived over three and a half billion years back and over a period of time, it branched out throwing out multiple new species, and that the mechanisms for many of evolutionary changes happen to be a natural selection (Coyne, 2010). This, according to Coyne, can be divided into six components; evolution being a gradual genetic change; the gradualism concept, changes that happen over generations; the speciation phenomenon, the fact that different species have a common ancestry; the natural selection mechanism, and finally some processes’ presence which contributes to the changes in evolution where the genetic drift is considered as important. When professor Coyne asserts that “evolution is true,” he implies that evolution’s central proposition in relation to the mentioned six components are totally true and must be accepted to be true because they belong to mainstream science as they are highly conclusive evidence from the many newly available inquiry lines (Coyne, 2010).

General Review of the Book

Even though evolutionary biologists have used the term theory, it does not automatically imply that the evolutionary account of life’s diversity is just a conjecture or an assumption (Coyne, 2010). As scientists use it, the term signifies a set of propositions that are well thought out in order to give details of facts regarding the world. There will come the point in which this body of propositions will be scrupulously tested and reinforced by evidence, and it will be recognized as facts rather than being thought of as a theory (Coyne, 2010). Principally, new data can falsify such a set of propositions, so the science propositions are provisionally accepted. However, in certain cases, it is impossible to falsify the major proposition. The main argument by Coyne is that the central proposition of the Darwinian Theory has advanced to fact hood.

It is fascinating how Coyne has presented the evidence. He has produced information from a number of fields such as biogeography, embryology, fossil records, and the presence of suboptimal designs needed to prove the evolution of organisms and that due to natural selection, there is a huge diversity of design (Coyne, 2010). The theory of evolution has proved to provide a high number of effective predictions and has explicated various data that otherwise would not have made sense and has yet to be falsified by irregular observations. The book’s greatest strength lies in Professor Coyne’s ability to gather evidence from the various inquiry lines and demonstrate the convergence of the inference of chains (Coyne, 2010). He convincingly demonstrates why there is no modern biologist who doubts the modern evolutionary theory’s main propositions, like the claims that the evolution of organisms happens over time, that there is a split of lineages into various species, and that the chief adaptation engine is the natural selection (Coyne, 2010). Even though the evolutionary biology field is vibrant and its certified journals have many discussions of processes and details, the major proposals are totally not controversial within science, mainly because a vast amount of converging data supports them.

Currently, there is no scientific controversy regarding the modern evolution theory, but there is a social controversy because a lot of individuals have rejected that theory. Also, there are intensive efforts by institutes like Discovery Institute that have resisted it. This shows the uniqueness of the evolutionary theory; no one participates in aggressive or eminent campaigns meant to raise doubts concerning Einsteinian physics or plate tectonics theories, for instance, or the assertion that a lot of diseases are a result of micro-organisms (Coyne, 2010). Another area where something approaching such a resistance level might be realized is the science that relates to climatic change. Still, it is also rarely criticized with the same aggressiveness – and nor, despite its concrete significance, it is basic in modern science world-image.

Many areas like astrophysics and geology have contradicted Young Earth Creationism and its associated doctrine system, but it has not caused anxiety similar to modern evolutionary biology. This means that Coyne could be right to emphasize general concerns instead of being specific to the fundamentalism of Christianity. He suggests that aside from evidence, people need more for life evolution since they tend to fear the consequences (Coyne, 2010). He explains that, for creationists, evolution tends to raise intense questions of meaning, morality, and determination, which they cannot accept irrespective of the evidence presented (Coyne, 2010). They are more concerned about what will follow psychologically and logically if evolution is true.

I am tempted to dismiss these concerns because the evidence is still evidence, and if the modern evolutionary theory’s central propositions are overwhelmingly backed by concrete evidence, that is it (Coyne, 2010). If some of the implications seem unpleasant, it is either logically dishonest or illogical to allow it to decide what to believe or not to believe (Coyne, 2010). Rather, people should take the bull by the horn and accept the theory’s genuine implications, whatever they may be. Professor Coyne might be gentle in his sympathetic expression of how fear has spread about recognizing the truth behind evolution theory that could dissolve the constraints that stop people from being unprincipled and self-centered. If people are beasts, then the beast within should be given full rein (Coyne, 2010). Also, there is the question about the logical basis that controls people’s most destructive impulses. This question could provide the book’s theme.

Some behaviors might be inherently encoded; however, the expression of genes can happen in different ways under different circumstances (Coyne, 2010). Although humans tend to be cruel and selfish, they can also be kind and selfless; it is their choice. Humans’ genetic heritage doesn’t trap one into some beastly behavior. Certainly, as Coyne pointed out, humans have made some level of moral progress in history, and barbaric activities like gladiatorial combat and human sacrifices have been done away with in the expansion of circles of consideration and sympathy (Coyne, 2010). Genes do not cause such progress, but they also do not prevent it. Therefore it is a fallacy to assume that the acceptance of the truth about evolution will, in some way, break the society, crash the morality of humans, drive people to have beastly behaviors, and brood a new generation of Stalins and Hitlers (Coyne pg. 238).

As an initial approximation, morality’s purpose was to enhance individuals’ flourishing, contribute to social survival, and amend the world’s suffering (Coyne, 2010). The evolution theory does not require humans not to value such goals. But moral systems aimed at such goals might not have enough room for virtues like devoutness or chastity or for the traditional injunctions of pleasures that are actually harmless. A rationally developed morality might have less to say against, say, abortion, gay marriage, or human enhancement and assisted reproduction technology (Coyne, 2010). Bluntly speaking, the majority of the old morality’s content is irrational and miserable when observed against different purposes, which can be reasonably allocated to morality. Suppose recognition of the theory of evolution and a representational worldview helps people to comprehend this. In that case, we should welcome it and avoid sticking our heads in the sand of traditions.

However, it makes me think differently from the book since Jerry Coyne fails to adopt a radical line, irrespective of whether he sympathizes with it or not. The author’s achievement is not only comprehensive but also a truly compelling evidence synthesis that supports a sound and established science. This book favors those who are passionate about science as well as its advancements. It explains the case for evolution with clarity, elegance, verve, and vigor; therefore, it belongs on the bookshelf.

Evidence of Evolution as Demonstrated by Different Biological Fields

The evidence of evolution has been fascinatingly presented by Coyne and is ultimately overwhelming. The information has been produced from fields such as biogeography, natural selection, molecular biology, and comparative embryology to demonstrate the evolution of organisms and that natural selection is behind the major apparent design diversity (Coyne, 2010). For starters, he uses biogeography, which is how organisms have been distributed geographically on Earth and how they follow a pattern that only evolution can best explain, combined with the tectonic plate’s movement over geological time. For instance, a wide group of organisms that had evolved already before the Pangaea broke has been distributed across the Earth. He used embryology because embryonic stages do not look like their ancestors’ adult form but look like their ancestors’ embryonic forms. The human fetus, for instance, does not look like that of adult reptiles or adult fish, but in some way, they look like embryonic reptiles and fish. Further, the recapitulation is not inevitable or strict: not all features of the embryo of ancestors appear on the descendants, nor does every developmental stage unfold in the exact evolutionary order. Moreover, species such as plants have dispensed with almost every trace of their ancestry when they are developing.

When it comes to molecular biology, just like structural homologies, there are similarities among biological molecules, which usually reflect common evolutionary ancestry. Basically, every living organism has the same DNA, genetic codes, basic gene expression process, and molecular building blocks (Coyne, 2010). These common characteristics imply that every living thing descended from a common ancestor. All present-day organisms share such features because they inherited them from ancestors and because any major change would have broken the basic cell functionality. Jerry Coyne’s book tends to summarize the key ideas of the Darwinian Theory. The evolution of life happened gradually; from a common ancestor, new species were developed that branched off from the older species. Mostly, evolution works through natural selection mechanisms.

Review of Each Chapter

In Chapter One, Professor Coyne discourses the fundamental evolution theoretical context, and he elucidates some of the mutual misunderstandings about the workings of science and the way the term theory has been misused by creationists (Coyne, 2010). Chapter Two is brief but provides enthralling summary evidence of fossils from the common examples; birds’ origin from dinosaurs, tetrapods’ origin, and the origin of whales. Although Professor Coyne happens to be a neonatologist, he clearly shows paleontologists’ difficulties in trying to find fossils, the fossil records’ strengths and limitations, and the importance of fossil evidence in the establishment of the actual evolution course (Coyne, 2010). Given the inaccurate, outdated, and limited fossil record coverage in many of the evolution textbooks, it is an honor seeing paleontology has been given its rightful place in evolutionary biology. I, however, object to the outdated taxonomy and the insistence by Professor Coyne on gradualism, which most paleontologists would dispute, but in general, this is among the best summaries ever written by a non-paleontologist.

In Chapter Three, Coyne summarizes the evolution’s mute witness of bad design or vestigial organs. He describes it as a possible remedy to the intelligence design foolish arguments (Coyne, 2010). More precisely, pinpointing the strange examples of poorly designed or useless features is a potent evolutionary argument that swiftly enchants those that may be seduced by the deceptive design argument. Professor Coyne has covered a good part of the classics and a lot of minor examples from human tails, whale legs and hips, and other poorly designed human features. An impressive one is the peculiar course of the left recurrent laryngeal nerve that tends to take a long course down to the aorta from the throat and back again because it was attached to the gill arch in the developing embryo (Coyne, 2010). In Chapter Four, Coyne analyzes all the evidence from biogeography. In the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters, he covers the definitive neontological arguments from speculation theory, genetics, and the renowned evidence by modern biologists over the past one hundred years (Coyne, 2010). This is the book’s strength since this is the author’s area of specialization, and his knowledge of the field shows in this sector. These topics discuss provocative topics such as how evolution is driven by sex and the update of the definitive arguments of sexual selection first presented by Darwin that were augmented when genetics found that sexual recombination was important to genetic speciation and variability.

Chapter Eight involves issues that drive the movement by creationists, and that is the evolution of humans. Many creationists probably would ignore the concept of evolution and possibly the entire biology if it were not the assertion that human beings are related to other animals and have evolved from ape ancestors (Coyne, 2010). Although brief, Coyne presents a vibrant outline of all pieces of evidence, including genetics, paleontology, and human anatomy, making humans’ connection to animals, particularly the great apes, irrefutable. The last chapter, called Evolution Redux, has Coyne contemplating the key evolution implications from the logical reason scientists admit that “evolution is true” to the new evolutionary psychological field and the evolution implications for the worldview. He did not spend a lot of involving the creationists directly or deflating their point of view. Instead, he moderately persuades readers by simply and clearly explaining and re-counting the vast evidence on the occurrence of evolution, just like what Charles Darwin did about a century and a half ago. In this manner, Why Evolution Is True is a brilliantly poised approach that is moderately convincing and not argumentative, and works for those unsure about facts of evolution. Without a doubt, creationists will not like this book, and as it is, many have given bad reviews already, but it surely convinces anyone who doubts evolution or those whose minds are not clouded by religious doctrines.

Although his initial motivation to write Why Evolution Is True stemmed from his disagreement with claims that intelligent design is just science, he chose not to attack religion (Coyne, 2010). Rather, as demonstrated in the book, he does just like any scientist, he predicts. Here he makes predictions that arise from the theory of evolution naturally as well as from intelligent design and creationism, and he describes how religious beliefs conflict with scientific data. Also, Coyne includes a remarkable section in which he explores the fear inspired by evolution in many religious individuals. He argues that their opposition to evolution is not because there is no scientific evidence but stems from the fear that society’s moral fabric will fall apart if they accept that humans are descendants of ape-like ancestors (Coyne, 2010). That being said, Coyne recognizes that ethics does not result from religious beliefs. Furthermore, he continues to use scientific evidence in examining humans in light of their ancestry and proposes that such a realization could imply a great deal for humans’ evolution in the future.

So far, no observation disproves evolution by natural selection. On the other hand, we have seen much evidence supporting it. The book’s body is extraordinarily free of ideology. In fact, it is not an argument against creationism, even though a majority of the arguments by creationists have been dealt with (Coyne, 2010). A big part of Why Evolution Is True thoroughly presents different pieces of evidence for evolution. Also, Coyne has covered the progression of fossils’ vestigial features, intermediate forms, embryonic development, evidence from “bad designs,” geographical distribution, and concrete evolutionary adaptation observed in the real world and the lab (Coyne, 2010). The major point happens to be very similar to the evidence of evolution, as stated by Charles Darwin. The book is an instant classic and has been presented by the author eloquently and gracefully as informed by various sources from Charles Darwin himself and modern research.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this book is not only stunningly written, but it is also fascinating because it delves into answering various questions of evolution, including but not limited to whether evolution has been tested scientifically, the predictions made by scientists based on the evolution theory, and if at all experimental evidence support those predictions. Why Evolution Is True is a detailed presentation by Coyne about the fossils’ modern discoveries and discoveries about plant and animal data published in various scientific fields that have impacted and contributed to the Evolution Theory.

Reference

Coyne, J. A. (2010). Why evolution is true. Oxford University Press.

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Question 


Reviewing Why Evolution Is True Review

For this course, you are required to submit a 10-page critique and personal reflection on the textbook Why Evolution Is True. This draft is worth 3% of you grade. The final draft of this assignment is worth 23% of your grade and APA style is required.

Your paper should allow you to reflect upon each of the themes in the chapters of the book. For example, you should focus on reflections of your growing understanding of what evolution is and what it is not. It should include your personal journey of discovery related to the concept of evolution. It should also include philosophical, theological, and sociological reflections, as well as a demonstration of a scientific understanding of evolution. Additionally, you should critique and evaluate the ideas presented in the book using your scientific understanding of the process of evolution.

Reviewing Why Evolution Is True Review

Reviewing Why Evolution Is True Review

The term paper is a major assignment for this course and so ought to evidence the following:

  • Understanding of the relevant science
  • The ability to use relevant literature in support of your conclusions
  • Your individual response to the material and readings. This may involve an assessment of what you found to be particularly compelling and/or problematic; your personal thoughts and/or reactions to what is being considered; consideration of implications implicit in the materials being addressed; an assessment of the strengths and/or shortcomings of particular points; etc.
You should submit a Draft of your paper to the Assignment box.

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