An interview with Jerry Coyne

Gregg Ross in American Scientist:

ScreenHunter_05 Feb. 21 19.15 University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne believes that one reason people mistrust Darwinism is a lack of familiarity with the evidence. In Why Evolution Is True (Viking), Coyne draws on genetics, anatomy, molecular biology, paleontology and geology to explain why biologists find the theory so compelling. “I offer it,” he writes, “in the hope that people everywhere may share my wonder at the sheer explanatory power of Darwinian evolution, and may face its implications without fear.”

What led you to write the book?

I guess a couple of things. First of all, I only teach evolution. I've been teaching it for my whole career, which I guess is coming on 25 years now, and I realized when I started teaching that nobody ever taught the evidence for evolution, which is wide-ranging and cool. And I looked in the textbooks, and they didn't have it either. And yet when you read Darwin, the thing that's most fascinating is the evidence he musters in support of it. In talking with professional biologists and evolutionists, they didn't ever learn why people thought evolution was true, because you're not taught that in class. But I thought that that should be passed on to the students because of the second reason I wrote the book, which is the pervasiveness of creationism in this country. I wanted to educate the students so they know that evolution really happened, so they don't really doubt that, but also to arm them against the forces of irrationality that were going to be impinging on them and society.

More here.