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Most Helpful Favorable Review
11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.
The most compelling, well-written, interesting book I've read in a long time!
posted by geo_grad_student on March 12, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
8 out of 32 people found this review helpful.
Misrepresenting contradicting facts as supporting evidence.
The modern evolution theory consists of two opposite sub-theories, NeoDarwinism/natural selection an...
The modern evolution theory consists of two opposite sub-theories, NeoDarwinism/natural selection and the neutral theory. NeoDarwinism or natural selection is largely irrelevant to molecular evolution, or, more precisely, contradicted by molecular data. As a result, a theory based on the negation of NeoDarwinism or natural selection, the neutral theory, is used to explain molecular evolution, in particular the molecular clock. And the neutral theory is however widely acknowledged to be an incomplete explanation and has countless contradictions of its own.
But the only theory Coyne ever talks about in his book is NeoDarwinism or natural selection. There are very few sentences that mention molecular evolution. And these in fact mislead the readers into believing that NeoDarwinism is supported rather than contradicted by facts of molecular evolution. Here is what Coyne wrote: "Evolution theory predicts, and data support, the notion that as species diverge from their common ancestors, their DNA sequence change in roughly a straight-line fashion with time."
Does Coyne really expect the lay readers to know that the 'evolution theory' here means the neutral theory, when the neutral theory is never mentioned in the book and must negate the key idea of Darwin? If the lay readers, after reading this, then believe incorrectly that NeoDarwinism predicts the major facts of molecular evolution, is it the readers' fault or the author's?
Coyne had openly said: "In science's pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics." But there can be no justification in any kind of science to misrepresent contradicting facts as supporting evidence.
It is clear that NeoDarwinism is true for some aspects of microevolution. It is equally clear to anyone familiar with the primary literature that it cannot explain all the relevant facts or is contradicted by numerous facts including both fossils and DNA data. A complete theory of evolution must include and grant the proven virtues of NeoDarwinism and must explain all relevant facts including those that contradict NeoDarwinism. By not informing readers of the incomplete nature of the existing theories, the author is actively reducing the population of thinkers who may participate in the search for the complete truth.
Thanks to his effort and others like him among Darwin followers, that population has become extremely small especially among professional biologists but fortunately not yet extinct. For a strong candidate to the complete truth, read about the maximum genetic diversity (MGD) hypothesis. http://precedings.nature.com/documents/1751/version/2
A true theory loves all facts and is contradicted by none. And such a theory is not impossible in the field of evolution.
posted by Gnomon on April 1, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 9, 2009
Didn't realize I knew so little
I thought I had a pretty good understanding of evolution before reading this book, but after reading it... I know I do.
Great book for those who get evolution, but would like to really understand it.
Imperative for those who do not get it and even claim it to be untrue.
Useful and informative for all.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 31, 2011
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