Jerry A. Coyne: Why Evolution Is True

All too often we hear that too many people are not embracing evolution but for those who reject it, they have a logical good reason.  Jerry Coyne is a professor of biology who currently resides at the University of Chicago. He regularly debates and defends evolutionary principles.

Last year he wrote a book on why evolution is supposedly true. Some say he has a sad understanding of creationism but that’s hard to believe. He debates in a very tactical manner that angles to what he considers the easiest way for a winnable argument rather than taking it head on.

For example, he argues in his book that if the Earth was young, then Africa and South America would only be inches apart.  However, this is not catastrophic plate tectonics of which he is trying to dispute. For it is this theory that pretty much dominates creationism these days. It was first proposed by Dr. John Baumgardner, and is compatible with plate tectonics and continental drift theories. It also provides a mechanism that explains the source and recession of the global flood water.

Next Coyne argues in his book that creationists deny speciation. Many evolutionists like Coyne will claim that variants within an animal’s kind is proof of evolution. Again, Coyne using tactical but not realistic arguments. Creationists do not deny variants known as “Rapid Speciation” as there was designed information by God but also creationists do not believe variants of animals are proof of macro-evolution.

In order for animals to go from one kind to a totally different kind of animal requires an expansion of the gene pool with new traits. Interbreeding doesn’t create an expanded gene pool that would enable mice to turn into bats.

On origins, Coyne claims that chemical evolution is not a problem for evolution because it’s not part of  the theory of evolution so it doesn’t have to explain origins…lol…A well known publication called; Scientific American certainly thinks the origin of life from dead chemicals to living ones is part of evolution as it devoted articles on this very subject…

As you can see, evolution is not that strong at all as a hypothesis or a theory. It’s story telling. Coyne uses outdated arguments to make it easier on himself to dispute but doesn’t prove anything. He avoids certain arguments like origins because it’s way too hard to prove with all that massive uncertainty of explanations. However, one thing is for certain, evolution needs not to be true!

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Jerry A. Coyne: Why Evolution Is True

  1. Michael: “It’s story telling.”

    This line is getting sooooooooooooo tedious.

    I’ve finished Jerry Coyne’s book a couple of weeks ago, and it is an excellent book, showing all the facts of evolution. If even this book does not convince you there is something to the theory of evolution as well (besides the facts), nothing else will. Your choice to close your eyes.

  2. Michael: “[Jerry Coyne] debates in a very tactical manner that angles to what he considers the easiest way for a winnable argument rather than taking it head on.”
    Why should one not argue the “easiest way”? There is so much evidence for evolution that almost all ways of arguing it are easy ways.

    It is creationists who have to use “hard ways” to argue. Taking the evidence for evolution head-on would be self-defeating—there’s too much. So what they must do is natter around the foothills, proclaiming every realignment of species on a cladistic tree from new evidence as a “disproof” of common descent altogether,[0] and every hyped headline in the popular press as overclaiming.[1] Meanwhile, ignoring the soaring mountains of converging evidence from geology, atomic physics, cosmology, paleontology, biogeography—not to mention biology and genetics itself.

    Here’s just one area. We used to construct descent diagrams only from appearance of structures in living organisms and in fossils. Now we also have genetic means to find nested hierarchies showing common descent. Although the number of possible trees is in the trillions, the paleontological trees and the molecular trees rarely differ by more than a few instances. Chemists can only wish for experimental errors as small as that.

    A common creationist argument against molecular hierarchical descent is that God reused parts from one organism in another—“common design.” But then, why did this reuse extend to meaningless repeats, retroviruses, and broken pieces of genes? it’s as though the 2010 Audi R8 contained an additional wiring harness from the Audi A8L, paint spots from a VW GTI, and a glove compartment was full of broken light bulbs from a 1989 Audi Fox. Why would God—much less a competent human designer—pull such stupid stunts?[2]

    Michael is also enamored of pointing out supermaterials in living things that science is only now beginning to discover.[3] But, on the other hand, God has not yet discovered the advantages that titanium bones would offer for animals. Simple things such as plastics—God was apparently completely stumped in any attempt to develop plastic wrappings for keeping water out (or in), or for any of the other myriad uses where humans find it so useful. Silicon chips process information at billions of operations per second in human-designed computers, while our poor neurons plod along, requiring complex ion channels and chemical signal propagation. God is apparently limited to a rather small range of starting materials for creating living things. You’d think He could at least become aware of new materials when we discover them, and employ them in new designs.

    I have not yet read Coyne’s book, so he probably makes the above arguments also. There are three other books that I have found helpful, because their focus is not that evolution occurred, but rather how it occurred. Your Inner Fish (Pantheon 2008) by Neil Shubin journeys through structural changes in different body parts throughout their history, showing detailed progressions of ahnds, eyes, jaws, etc. Relics of Eden (Prometheus 2007) is Daniel Fairbanks’ similar journey through the history of DNA and molecular evolution. The Making of the Fittest (Norton 2006) describes how selection works, by a forensic record of its operation. Sean Carroll is a leading light in this field. Another of Carroll’s books, Endless Forms Most Beautiful (Norton 2005) outlines evo-devo, a major field of evolutionary study that did not even exist 25 years ago.

    .

    Yes, creationists do have to take the rocky road in debates on evolution. They have so little to work with.

    =================

    [0] To put this in a more familiar context, this is like saying that God does not exist because some priests and pastors have been guilty of child molestation.

    [1] Think of images of Jesus on a piece of toast.

    [2] Ah, but God is inscrutable. That solves any problem, doesn’t it? It also makes God-as-designer non-scientific by definition. How do you study something that is unstudyable? How do you predict something that is unpredictable?

    [3] See, e.g., “Living Things Are Designed With Advanced Physics,” post dated February 12, 2010.

  3. ………………….THIS JUST IN……………….

    “WHY CREATIONISM IS TRUE” WINS WORLD’S THINNEST BOOK DERBY

    The Chattanooga News-Free Press has announced that the winner of the 2009 Thinnest Book contest is “Why Creationism Is True” (Delusional Books 2009), by Ima B. Leever.

    Ms. Leever is Chief Fulminologist at Kent Hovind’s Creation Fantasy Museum in Logical, Fla. The museum was moved there last year to be closer to where Hovind is serving his sentence for tax evasion. The author’s previous experience includes writing legal defenses for Jimmy Swaggart and advertisements for Jim Jones(tm).Kool-Aid.

    The book is so small that the covers are made from the front and back of a single piece of cardboard. The entire contents of the book, along with endorsements from major televangelists, are printed on the dust jacket.

    The runner-up inthe 2009 contest was Helena Handbasket’s “Biblical Biology.”

    .
    ================

    Ed. note: Look up http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042694/

    ==Soc Puppette

  4. Michael: In order for animals to go from one kind to a totally different kind of animal requires an expansion of the gene pool with new traits. ”

    OK, Michael, yer on. (1) Define what animals constitute a “kind.” (2) Define what an “expansion” of a gene pool entails. (3) Describe how to determine whether or not a trait is “new” or not.

    Typical creationist bluff. Claim and crumble. Time to cut and run, Michael. Start a new subject or something.

    Chirp… chirp… chirp….

  5. “On origins, Coyne claims that chemical evolution is not a problem for evolution because it’s not part of the theory of evolution [sic] so it doesn’t have to explain origins…lol…A well known publication called; [sic] Scientific American certainly thinks the origin of life from dead chemicals to living ones is part of evolution as it devoted articles on [sic] this very subject…”

    Let’s see. Scientific American thinks that origin of life is part of evolution, because it carries articles on origin of life.

    I guess that means that Scientific American thinks that origin of the solar system is part of neurology because it carries articles on origin of the solar system.

    Would someone please explain the concept of “non sequitur” to Michael?

  6. Let me repeat here a comment I made yesterday over at the Thinking Christian blog about the explanatory power of intelligent design. This bears upon the title of Jerry Coyne’s book—I think the title is misleading.

    ———————————————

    Evolution v ID is a battle, but the two sides have very different goals. The contention of ID followers is that design is true, and they wish others to believe in it; they hold that naturalistic evolution is not true. The position of evolutionists is that naturalistic evolution is useful, and scientists wish to investigate it; they hold that ID is not a useful concept.

    ID followers seem not to care whether their design concept is useful or not. They conduct no research into possible models for design, they formulate no hypotheses as to how design occurred or what its scope may be. (William Dembski explicitly abjures such inquiries.)

    Evolutionary scientists—all scientists–do not search for absolute truth. They care whether a theory makes verifiable predictions, whether it leads to further knowledge and to useful applications. They aim no higher than “contingent truth.”

    The reason ID is not science is that it is scientifically useless, not that it is false in some philosophical sense.

    ID is vacuous for the purposes of science because it proposes an agent whose actions are by definition not constrained by natural law. That is, the actions of the designer are inherently arbitrary, unpredictable, and unrepeatable. One cannot conduct repeatable scientific experiments or make verifiable predictions from the concept of intelligent design. It’s that simple.

  7. Coyne is not alone in presenting opinion as fact and employing red herrings, straw men and evasiveness to defend Evolutionism; it is the necessary norm for Evolutionists. As demonstrated by most of the contributors’ comments on this blog.

  8. Duck & Run Dom: “Coyne is not alone in presenting opinion as fact and employing red herrings, straw men and evasiveness to defend Evolutionism;…”

    (1) Define the word “fact” as it is used in science. (________)

    (2) From your reading of Coyne’s book, name an opinion that he presents as fact; be specific. (_________)

    (3) Name a particular red herring in Coyne’s book. (_________)

    (4) Name a specific subject for which Coyne’s book erects a straw man; please cite page numbers. (___________)

    .

    Just as we thought. Dom sneaks in after everyone has gone home, vents his spleen, then sneaks off again, never to back up his claims. By this time, we should not be surprised.

    Of course, Dom has not even seen this book, much less read it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s