Why Evolution Is True

In his book Why Evolution is True, Jerry Coyne puts upon himself the role of providing evidence towards the acceptability of evolution psychology. He goes beyond the pont by offering evidence from fossils, biographies, speciation and embryos. He provides evidence about speciation and attempts to remove all doubt by not just presenting the evidence, but also, going a step further to show the relevance of his evidence to evolution. While doing this, he uses a simple language for everyone to learn about evolution and the evidence available. As if on cue, he offers a response to creationists’ views leaving the creation perspective bare and bleeding. This paper seeks to identify all the aspects presented in the book as well as determine the evidence provided to see how deeply the book goes in showing the validity of evolution.

According to Coyne, evolution argues that all life originated from a single primitive species which could have been anything including a self replicating molecule. The species then divided out over time to form a variety of species through, mostly, the process of natural selection.

He then breaks down the process of evolution into six components, namely, evolution itself, gradualism, common ancestry, speciation, natural selection, and other processes that complement natural selection like the genetic drift.


According to Coyne, a species undergoes changes in its genetics such that it eventually becomes something quite dissimilar over time, based on changes in its DNA which arise in the form of mutations. He argues that the species that exist today did not exist in the past, but are descendants of what lived in the past. He says for example, that man originated from apelike creatures that are not identical to modern day apes. The process of evolution, he argues differs from creature to creature. Some species remain unchanged for many years while others are constantly changing. The theory of evolution argues that the rate at which these changes occur is dependent on the pressures that are exerted on the species.


This aspect of evolution argues that evolutionary change is slow. It takes a long time to make any substantial change in a species, such as the change of reptiles to mammals. The formation of new features does not occur swiftly but usually over millions of years. The change is however usually tied to the length of generations. Microbes, for example, have very generations that could be as long as twenty minutes. For this reason, such species can change very fast. It is due to this reason that viruses and bacteria continuously become resistant to drugs.

This process is however not even. Instead, evolution is believed to occur according to the pressures surrounding a species. Evolution occurs only as fast as the conditions require, speeding up when natural selection is strong and slowing down over a stable environment.


This is the splitting up process that leads to the formation of several species from a single ancestor. A good example is the existence of the four letter code DNA that exists in elephants, humans and potted cactus. The existence of a similar trait shows that the three species share a common ancestor. This process shows that evolution does not only lead to gradual changes in the original species. If it did, it would mean that there would only exist a single species that would be much more advanced from the first ancestor. However, the world today hosts over ten million species and over 250,000 other species that have been ran to extinction and only exist as fossils to show their initial existence.

It is speciation that leads to the formation of distinct species that cannot interbreed. This then leads to an absolute separation. Once they cannot interbreed, their evolutions take two different directions hence making it harder and harder for them to share traits. Speciation takes a number of forms. First, it may arise as a result of the different species finding each other unattractive. This makes it impossible for them to reproduce. Second, the two species may reproduce to form sterile offspring that rids it of its future in one generation. Third, the reproduction method may be altered or in the case of plants, the time of reproduction during the year.

Common ancestry

This is the flip side of speciation. While speciation looks at the formation of differentiated features in different species, common ancestry looks at the similarity of the different species. The most used method of tracing these similarities is by the use of their DNA. The similarities confirm what was used previously the methods that were used previously that were based on the possession of certain features. It was previously believed that those animals that possessed similar features were more closely related than those that do not. This has now been advanced to the level of DNA. DNA confirms the initial belief and provides an easier and more reliable method of tracing close relatives in terms of evolution.

Natural selection

Natural selection is the fifth part of evolutionary theory. This method explains the apparent design in nature by a strictly materialistic method that did not require the intervention of supernatural beings and the process of creation. The concept revolves around the fact that different individuals originating from the same species can differ significantly from each other genetically. If one of the individuals has a good gene that supports its ability to survive, then the more superior gene is more likely to be passed to the next generation. Alternatively, it could be argued that more copies of the good genes will be regenerated. On the other hand, the inferior gene will have a lower chance of survival in the future.

As a result, the species will strive to be better and better suited for its environment. This will be resultant of the mutations that will arise to assist the survival of the species. Eventually, the mutations result in the formation of organisms that are better adapted to their environment. The process is simple and only requires a species to change genetically over time so as to make it easy for them to survive and reproduce. This aspect exists in every species that has ever been examined. The urge for every species to exist makes it possible for this aspect to be real.

Natural selection is however not a perfect process. It is to blame for some weaknesses in various organisms. A good example is the use of flippers in female sea turtles. While they make it easy for turtles to swim, they also make the nest building process a torturous and risky process. Men on the other hand have to live with testes hanging like a mere addition to their body, which poses a lot to risk from both disease and dangerous activities.

Natural selection produces the fitter and not the fittest generation in every future attempt. The fact that organisms are constantly changed by this imperfect process makes them evidently not a product of design or creation. Instead, the imperfections stand out as evidence for evolution.

Processes other than natural selection

Sometimes natural selection is not involved in the evolutionary process. Minor genetic changes sometimes occur due to a natural ability of certain families to produce a higher number of offspring. The process is however not as effective as the process of natural selection due to its weaker capacity.

The six parts of evolution shown above all show to a high degree how evolution happens. Some are closely related while others are largely different. The process of speciation and that of common ancestry are closely related and closely complement each other. The six stages to a high degree show how the evolution process took place and how it could still be taking place to the present day. The claim by Coyne that Evolution is true implies that every one of the five stages of evolution is true. Since they have scientific evidence, I would stand to defend them.  The theory of evolution is not just a theory. It stands above other theories on the origin of life.

Coyne’s presentation of the evidence is overpowering. He delivers data from fields as differing as embryology, biogeography, the fossil record itself, the presence of vestigial structures in present day organic entities, and the presence in nature of suboptimal “outlines,” keeping in mind the end goal to exhibit that life forms have developed and that characteristic choice is in charge of the immeasurable assorted qualities of evident outline. Evolutionary theory has made immense amounts of effective expectations, clarified information that would not generally bode well (“retrodictions”), and never been adulterated by bizarre perceptions (there are no human fossils in Cretaceous rock strata, for instance, or anything like J.B.S. Haldane’s renowned illustration of fossil rabbits in the Precambrian).

The extraordinary quality of Why Evolutions Is True lies in Coyne’s capacity to gather evidence from all these lines of request, and to show how the chains of deduction focalize. He demonstrates convincingly why no genuine scholar questions the principle suggestions of present day evolutionary theory, for example, the claims that creatures developed about whether, that ancestries part into diverse species, and that “regular choice is the primary motor of adjustment” (223). In spite of the fact that the field of evolutionary science is an energetic one, and its expert diaries hold much talk of the subtle elements of the procedure, the primary suggestions are altogether uncontroversial inside science, basically in light of the fact that they are upheld so influentially by enormous measures of focalizing information. There is no investigative contention about the status of current evolutionary theory, yet there is clearly a social debate, in that numerous people dismiss the theory, and there are coordinated endeavors by overall resourced associations, for example, America’s infamous Discovery Institute, to oppose it. In that sense, evolutionary theory is interesting: nobody participates in a prominent, forceful crusade to raise open questions about, say, plate tectonics or Einstein’s material science, or the claim that numerous infections are created by micro-life forms. One of the few different ranges where something approaching this level of safety may be seen is the science identifying with environmental change, yet even this is sometimes reprimanded with proportionate fierceness – and nor, notwithstanding its reasonable imperativeness, is it fundamental on the planet picture of present day science.

In the last section of Why Evolution Is True, Coyne analyzes the inspirations that may underlie imperviousness to the theory of evolution. Can any anyone explain why somebody of conventional, or more noteworthy, knowledge might be stood up to with the persuading evidence of evolution, comprehend it, yet at the same time not acknowledge the principle suggestions that it underpins? Maybe shockingly, Coyne does not stress that the courses of action and the timetable of evolution completely repudiate fundamentalist Christian positions that incorporate the thought of Young Earth Creationism.

For followers of such positions, the age of the Earth and the particular making of every sort of living thing (particularly, yet not just, of individuals) are not only additional items. It is not as though these thoughts could be disposed of, or genuinely adjusted, to suit the revelations of science, while saving a crucial center of otherworldly teachings. Rather, they are components of a broad and nearly coordinated religious framework that likewise incorporates a strict Fall from beauty at an identifiable time; the authentic presentation of sin and debasement into the world; Jesus Christ’s conciliatory expiation for sin; and an extreme triumph of God over Satan. This universe sized triumph will come full circle in a red hot purifying of all creation – basically, a fresh start. Such a conviction framework can’t gently acknowledge adjustments to its claims about the world, in space and time. As long as this sort of Christian religious philosophy holds expansive amounts of disciples, there will be numerous individuals who are emphatically spurred to reject evolutionary theory rather desert their coordinated religious perspective. For such individuals, even the movement to a “mystical evolution” is prone to be immensely tormenting, and maybe no more engaging than deserting Christianity by and large.

Still, numerous different zones of science – geography and astronomy for a begin – additionally negate Young Earth Creationism and its related arrangement of precept. Yet these reason not at all like the same tension as present day evolutionary science. So maybe Coyne is right to stress more general concerns, instead of those particular to Christian fundamentalism. He proposes that numerous individuals require more than evidence for the evolution of life on the grounds that they fear its results: for these individuals, who are not all Young Earth Creationists or anything of the sort, “evolution brings up such significant issues of reason, profound quality, and implying that they simply can’t acknowledge it, regardless of the amount evidence they see” (224). These well meaning individuals are worried about what takes after, intelligently and mentally, if evolution is genuine.

To be completely forthright, I am enticed to give short shrift to such concerns. Evidence will be evidence. On the off chance that the focal recommendations of present day evolutionary theory are overwhelmingly underpinned by the evidence, that will be that. Or somewhere in the vicinity I am slanted to say. We then need to work out the ramifications, instead of envisioning that the suggestions can control whether the theory is genuine. On the off chance that a percentage of the suggestions give off an impression of being unpalatable, it is unreasonable or cannily untrustworthy to permit that to choose what to accept. We ought to quit whining and take care of business and acknowledge the authentic ramifications of the theory, whatever they may end up being.

Maybe luckily, Coyne takes a more tender methodology. He communicates sensitivity for the far reaching expectation that separation of reality of evolutionary theory could break up whatever imperatives prevent us from acting in self centered and deceitful ways. In the event that we are basically elephants, so the thought goes, why not give full rein to the beast within? What consistent premise may there be to control our most ruinous driving forces?

Clearly, these inquiries could give the topic to a whole book, or for some books. Coyne’s response is that we are not “puppets moving on the strings of evolution” (230). Some of our practices may be hereditarily encoded, yet our qualities might be communicated from multiple points of view under numerous diverse circumstances. In spite of the fact that there is much human childishness and brutality, there is additionally much graciousness and unselfishness – the decisions are our own to make, and it is clear that our hereditary legacy does not take a structure that traps us into supposed “brutal” practices. Without a doubt, as Coyne additionally brings up, we have had the capacity to make a level of good advancement amid written history, progressively discounting savage exercises, for example, human reparation and gladiatorial battle, while growing our rounds of sensitivity and thought. This sort of advancement is not brought about by our qualities, at any rate not in any straightforward way, yet they plainly don’t anticipate it. Therefore it is essentially a confusion to feel that tolerating reality of evolution will some way or another sunder our general public, wreck our profound quality, affect us to act like monsters, and bring forth another era of Hitlers and Stalins (238).

I concur completely with this examination the extent that it goes, yet there is an alternate point to be made, and its one that people who are careful about evolutionary theory may well find less acceptable. While it is steady with Coyne’s methodology, it truly has a place with an alternate book and Coyne can most likely be pardoned for not saying it. Still, it is worth a concise examination in a diary, for example, this. The fact of the matter is that a profound quality grounded in cutting edge, experimental understandings of the world and our spot in it will not be completely the same as the old, natural good teachings, passed on through religious and social customs. Subsequently, if a few adversaries of evolutionary theory – and, past it, of a naturalistic and realist understanding of the world – regret that their ethical quality can’t be protected, in its aggregate, they are most likely right. From the viewpoint of philosophical naturalism and realism, a significant part of the old profound quality truly can’t be upheld. What must be included, notwithstanding, is that this is not an awful thing.

The old profound quality, nearly connected with Christianity, with its long custom of disgrace about sex and the body, its hard-line backing of human exceptionalism (counting a particularly human “nobility”), and its glorification of devotion, refusal toward oneself, and monkish life, essentially needs normal backing. Honestly, much thinking stays to be carried out about what the social foundation of profound quality is for, and consequently what structure it ought to take: which deontic demands would it be advisable for us to acknowledge, or which ideals would it be a good idea for us to desire, and why? Be that as it may, it is impossible that any reasonable methodology will empower the old ethical quality to be reproduced, unaltered. Surely, it is now under test, and has been for a few decades.

As a first estimate, ethical quality fills such needs as improving individual thriving, helping social survival, and enhancing the anguish on the planet (Liddle, Shackleford, 2009). Nothing about evolutionary theory obliges us to stop esteeming those sorts of objectives. Notwithstanding, an ethical framework went for objectives, for example, these may have no place for assumed ethics, for example, chastity or devotion, or for customary prohibitions of different pretty much safe delights. A sanely reconsidered ethical quality is prone to have little to say against (for instance) premature birth, foundational microorganism research, same-sex marriage, or innovations of helped proliferation and human upgrade. To be limit about it, a great part of the old ethical quality’s substance is hopeless and silly, when seen against different purposes that can possibly be doled out to profound quality itself. On the off chance that acknowledgement of evolutionary theory and a naturalistic perspective helps us to comprehend this, we should welcome it, not stick our heads in the sands of custom.

This, nonetheless, takes me a long way from Jerry Coyne’s glorious book, subsequent to its writer does not receive anything like such a radical line, whether he may sympathize with it. His accomplishment is a thorough and really convincing amalgamation of the evidence in backing of sound, secured science. In the event that you think energetically about science and its headway, and you’re searching for a book that clarifies the case for evolution with life, verve, tastefulness, and clarity, Why Evolution Is True is the book to read.


Coyne, J. A. (2009). Why evolution is true. Penguin.

Liddle, J. R., Shackleford, T. K., (2009). Why Evolutionary Psychology Is ‘True.” Evolutionary Psychology. 7(2): 288-294

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