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Evolution is one of the best-established scientific theories around, with mountains of evidence from a variety of fields supporting it. Despite that, many people throughout the world simply reject the tenets of modern Darwinism. In this talk, Jerry will summarize the variety of evidence for evolution - evidence so strong and multifarious that evolution has graduated from theory to fact - document the resistance to evolution in the US and throughout the world, and explore the reasons for this rejection. Those reasons touch not only on religion, but on the kind of social dysfunction that is associated with religiosity throughout the world.
Jerry Coyne is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago and a member of both the Committee on Genetics and the Committee on Evolutionary Biology.
He received a B.S. in Biology from the College of William and Mary. He then earned a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology at Harvard University in 1978, working in the laboratory of Richard Lewontin. After a postdoctoral fellowship in Timothy Prout's laboratory at The University of California at Davis, he took his first academic position as assistant professor in the Department of Zoology at The University of Maryland. In 1996 he joined the faculty of The University of Chicago.
Jerry has written over 110 refereed scientific papers and 80 other articles, book reviews, and columns, as well as a scholarly book about his field (Speciation, co-authored with H. Allen Orr). He is a frequent contributor to The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, and other popular periodicals.
His book, Why Evolution is True, is described by E.O. Wilson, famous sociobiologist, as a "clear, well-written explanation of evolution"; by Neil Shubin - author of Your Inner Fish - as "a stunning achievement"; by Richard Dawkins as "marvellous" and by Steven Pinker as "superb". Jerry himself has been described by Richard Dawkins as "the principal guru on evolutionary genetics in the world".