March 30, 2009 - This week in the Barnes and Noble Review, British philosopher A.C. Grayling's The Thinking Read column focuses on one of the most highly debated topics of all time, taking an insightful look into a brilliant account of evolutionary theory, Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True.
In the column, Grayling discusses how the sciences collectively constitute "humanity's greatest achievement," and how there is no excuse for not having a broad understanding of the fundamentals - mainly because there are so many good books for the general reader by first-rate practitioners in these fields. These writings allow common readers to explore physics, cosmology, biology, and more - on their most basic levels and beyond.
Finding Coyne's book a model in the field, Grayling praises it as a crucial read in understanding a broad range of scientific knowledge, including topics that range from cloning and genetic modification to saving endangered species. Asserting that a proper understanding of evolution as the world's organizing principle is a must, Grayling comments:
Coyne shows science carefully, responsibly, testably, profoundly at work on the glory that is the natural world. It starts with no prejudices ... but is open and self-critical. What you see in Coyne's account is science as the enterprise that seeks to understand, and always stands ready to revise itself in the face of contrary evidence. It is a beautiful process, and the results are literally wonderful. Coyne's book is a testament to this. It seems almost coincidental to say that it is also a brilliant introduction to evolution which should be required reading: in its blaze of illumination the [Intelligent Design] case melts like summer snow.
For The Thinking Read column in its entirely, click here.