An academic argues that evolution must be embraced as fact.
Jerry A. Coyne is left utterly incredulous whenever he hears the term “theory of evolution.” As a point of fact, he suggests, the phrasing is an inaccurate and unfortunate pairing, though the word in question is not the one synonymous with pioneering British naturalist Charles Darwin.
In Why Evolution is True, his new book, the University of Chicago professor expresses sharp disdain for the modern portrayal of evolution as mere speculation and biological conjecture.
“The battle for evolution seems never-ending,” he writes. “And the battle is part of a wider war, a war between rationality and superstition. What is at stake is nothing less than science itself and all the benefits it offers to society.”
Nearly a century has passed since the “Scopes Monkey Trial” pitted celebrity attorneys Williams Jennings Bryant, a self-described Christian, against Clarence Darrow, an agnostic, in a Tennessee courtroom. Famously, they squared off over the legality of teaching evolution in a Bible Belt public school.
Although the Scopes case ultimately helped establish evolution as a bedrock element of public science education in America, the clash between Darwinism and religious creationists rages on.