Reddit Reddit reviews Why Evolution Is True

We found 95 Reddit comments about Why Evolution Is True. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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95 Reddit comments about Why Evolution Is True:

u/[deleted] · 73 pointsr/relationships

I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness and I was a staunch creationist, so I feel like I can see both sides of this equation.

I think that this is really a bigger issue than creationism. Evidenced by the comment that the goal of science is to prove the Bible wrong, or exists for the purpose of making Christians feel uncomfortable. This is about a fundamental difference in the way you see the world: approaching the world from the standpoint of belief first, or from the standpoint of observation first. I think that this difference in mindset will absolutely not diminish over the course of your marriage, it will constantly show up. I think your strategy of non-confrontation on this topic will not work long term, this needs to be cleared up if you expect a healthy marriage.

> How did you resist the temptation to cut their views apart with the glorious shears of science?

You don't. If he is a rational, thoughtful, intelligent man, then he is open to debate and personal growth. This is something he is wrong about, it's not insensitive or pushy to help him come a better understanding on this topic. Like I said, I used to be a creationist. I changed my mind because people challenged me, debated with me, investigated the consequences of my beliefs and pointed out logical inconsistencies. They didn't do it in an aggressive or rude way, but in a calm and rational way. I think you need to do the same thing. Sit down and hash this out.

> Tony knows that and is fine with it - we have had many rousing discussions about God, spirituality, philosophy, and what it means to be alive as well as regular intellectual conversations. He has (for the most part) always presented himself as a rational, thoughtful, intelligent man.

This makes it seem like he actually would be receptive to some discourse on this topic. I totally disagree with the other comments recommending bringing this up during pre-marital counseling. This is something that needs to be talked about between you both first. Having a conversation investigating the specifics of his beliefs would help you understand him better.

From personal experience, here are some arguments/lines of reasoning that were particularly helpful in making me realize my creationist beliefs didn't make sense:

  • If Noah brought pairs of all the land and air animals on the ark, how did he fit them all? There are 10,000 species of birds alone, and between 3 and 30 million species of animals all together. How did they all fit, and how did he mimic the habitats of the entire Earth such that they could all survive?
  • How do bacteria and viruses change such that new diseases appear? Where did HIV come from, did God create it? If so, why did it take so long to show up?
  • Why did God create humans with vestigial organs, such as the appendix and tonsils? Why is it the case that the appendix looks remarkably similar to the cecum seen in animals?
  • How did the light from other stars and galaxies reach Earth? If God literally created the universe in 6 days, there wouldn't have been enough time for light from distant galaxies to get to us, and the night sky would be substantially darker.

    It might be worth it for you to read up on Evolution before having the discussion, so you can get some ideas of your own. Maybe Dawkin's The Greatest Show on Earth or Coyne's Why Evolution Is True. It might even be useful to ask him to read one of the books. If he is an intelligent and rational man like you describe him, he is open to hearing the other perspectives and making an informed decision. If he absolutely refuses to read either book, then you've learned something else concerning about his personality - that he is not willing to make informed decisions, which would be good to learn now before you get married.
u/distantocean · 46 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Then I'd recommend you read the book Why Evolution Is True by evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne. At worst you'll end up with a better understanding of just what it is you're rejecting.

Oh, and to answer your question, yes. The existence of a god (yours or any other) isn't just a default answer we substitute when some other answer isn't available--or not one anyone should substitute by default, anyway.

u/tazemanian-devil · 22 pointsr/exjw

Hello and welcome! Here are my recommendations for getting those nasty watchtower cobwebs out of your head, in other words, here is what I did to de-indoctrinate myself:

Take some time to learn about the history of the bible. For example, you can take the Open Yale Courses on Religious Studies for free.

Read Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman

Also read A History of God by Karen Armstrong

Next, learn some actual science. For example - spoiler alert: evolution is true. Visit Berkeley's excellent Understanding Evolution Website.. Or, if you're pressed for time, watch this cartoon.

Read Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne

Read The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

Learn about the origin of the universe. For example, you could read works by Stephen Hawking

Read A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Learn about critical thinking from people like Michael Shermer, and how to spot logical fallacies.


For good measure, use actual data and facts to learn the we are NOT living in some biblical "last days". Things have gotten remarkably better as man has progressed in knowledge. For example, watch this cartoon explaining how war is on the decline..

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

Another great source is the youtube series debunking 1914 being the start of the last days.

I wish you the best. There is a whole world of legitimate information out there based on actual evidence that you can use to become a more knowledgeable person.

You may still wonder how you can be a good human without "the truth." Here is a good discussion on how one can be good without god. --Replace where he talks about hell with armageddon, and heaven with paradise--

Start to help yourself begin to live a life where, as Matt Dillahunty puts it, you'll "believe as many true things, and as few false things as possible."

u/nullp0int · 17 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Let's dismantle your friend's arguments:

> Because something can't come from nothing...

Prove it. If he can't, his argument already falls apart. People assume that "something can't come from nothing" is a fact, but what evidence backs this up? Every single human being has been surrounded by "something" for every instant of his or her existence. Not once has any person experienced absolute "nothing". Thus any statement about the properties of "nothing" (besides being self-contradictory, as "nothing" cannot have properties) is complete and total Making Shit Up. This is begging the question.

> ...there had to be a being intelligent enough to create it

If something can exist without prior cause, then clearly prior cause is not always needed for existence. Therefore the demand that the universe have a prior cause is unreasonable. Furthermore, the universe is not a "thing" - it is the set of all things. Assuming that the whole must have the characteristics of its parts is the fallacy of composition.

> Because god exists outside of science, he doesn't need a scientific explanation.

"Outside of science" is a nonsensical statement. Please define or stop using this. Also, this is special pleading.

> The chances of abiogenesis occurring is 1 in 10^40,000. Most statisticians agree that these chances are far too improbable for such a thing to occur that it's essentially impossible.

This is Just Plain Wrong. The chance of abiogenesis occurring is not 1 in 10^40,000; people who think so are basing their beliefs off junk science and junk math. See: here for details. By the way, the whole "most statisticians agree..." is a ploy by your friend to hide the fact that he just pulled a random unsubstantiated number (10^40,000) out of the air and expects you to accept it.

>Nearly all genetic mutations are big and negative...

Again, Just Plain Wrong. See this and this. Your friend needs to do a little more research.

> ...therefore evolution having mutations that are small and positive is nearly impossible.

Your friend is showing his ignorance regarding evolution. Mutations are neither positive nor negative without context. A mutation which is helpful under certain circumstances is harmful under others. See the previous two links for more.

> Everything in nature seems perfectly designed for human beings.

Yep, cancer, natural disasters, predators, odorless toxic gases, plagues have all been perfectly designed to suit human beings. Toss your friend alone and naked into the wilderness and see how far that "perfectly designed" environment takes him. Better yet, toss him into the 99.99999999% of the universe that is not Earth and see how long he survives.

Furthermore, saying that "everything looks designed" is self-defeating. Ask your friend to show you an example of something which is not designed. Let's say he suggests X. Point out that, according to his beliefs, God did in fact design X, thus your friend has demonstrated an inability to tell the difference between things that are designed and not designed. In addition, if literally everything around us is designed, then he very concept of being designed loses all meaning (in the same way that theists like to say that good without evil loses all meaning).

> There's no way to explain that/the complexity around us with mutations.

Again, does not understand evolution. He should read this before making more ill-informed statements.

> There had to be a creator.

Even if this were true (it's not, given that every single thing your friend has said above is utterly wrong) - but even if this were true, there's nothing that says that this creator is anything like human notions of "God".

u/Pharticus78 · 15 pointsr/exchristian

I read,”Why Evolution Is True “ by Jerry Coyne.

It’s an easy read and lays out an argument that I can’t find flaw with.

Only the most obtuse could peruse this scientific aggregate and still try to deny the age of the earth and evolution.

u/astroNerf · 12 pointsr/atheism

Documentaries dealing with mainly human evolution


  • NOVA - Becoming Human.

  • The Incredible Human Journey: a 5-part series on the migration of humans out of Africa a few tens of thousands of years ago. Parts 1-5 are available on youtube, here.

  • Prehistoric Autopsy: 3-part series on evolution of humans. Part 1: Neanderthals Part 2: Homo Erectus Part 3: Australopithecus afarensis. Uses neat special effects to highlight specific adaptations.


    Documentaries about evolution in general without a strict focus on humans


  • What Darwin Never Knew: 2-hour documentary from PBS that looks at evolution through a modern lens, contrasted with Darwin's limited understanding. Obviously, since Darwin's time, we now know about things like genetics - things Darwin could only have imagined.

  • Your Inner Fish - Looks at evolution of features found in us and in other primates going all the way back to fish, a few hundred million years ago. For example, the bones in our arms and hands correspond to bones found in limbs of the first fish that crawled onto land some 375 million years ago. This one is via the PBS website so you need to be in the US or use a US proxy (like Hola Better Internet browser add-on) to access it. The first video expires tomorrow, so if you miss it, you might have to ^(torrent it or.. something.. ahem)

    Books


  • The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins. I know some people don't care for Dawkin's brand of anti-theism but this book just deals with biology. The premise is this: if you had a photo of your father, and your grandfather, and your great-grandfather and so on... how far back would you have to go to start noticing photos of people that aren't quite human?

  • Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. This walks the reader through what evolution is, the evidence for it, and what it can tell us about practically anything in biology. It covers a lot of bases and is easy to read. I myself like the illustrations by Kalliopi Monoyios

    There are other books but they get progressively more technical. If you want other recommendations, the folks over at /r/evolution have plenty.
u/CommissarPenguin · 11 pointsr/exchristian

>And apparently she thinks that science doesn't back up what Paleontologists have found so far. It's just amazing to me that people are so willing to listen so someone who doesn't even study this shit. Does anyone have any sources I can check out that can point me in the right direction on what's correct and what's not? I'm in the dark and have never looked into evolution or anything like it.

https://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491459123&sr=8-1&keywords=why+evolution+is+true

Read this book. This book is written perfectly for laymen and normal people, explains it all very well. Evolution isn't a "theory." Its a verified fact.

As to the rest of the lunacy, you'll need to list it out a bit more. I take it you're still living with them? Be careful how much you argue with them about it. But don't let creationist baloney hold you back in your scientific education. I never pursued biology and a potential career as a doctor partly because the church told me it was all lies. I'm still mad about that.

u/matthewdreeves · 11 pointsr/exjw

Hello and welcome! Here are my recommendations for de-indoctrinating yourself:

Take some time to learn about the history of the bible. For example, you can take the Open Yale Courses on Religious Studies for free.

Read Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman

Also read A History of God by Karen Armstrong

Watch this talk from Sam Harris where he explains why "free will" is likely an illusion, which debunks the entire premise of "the fall of man" as presented by most Christian religions.

Watch this video on the Cordial Curiosity channel that teaches how the "Socratic Method" works, which essentially is a way to question why we believe what we believe. Do we have good reasons to believe them? If not, should we believe them?

Watch this video by Theramin Trees that explains why we fall for the beliefs of manipulative groups in the first place.

This video explains why and how childhood indoctrination works, for those of us born-in to a high-control group.

Another great source is this youtube series debunking 1914 being the start of the last days.

Next, learn some science. For example - spoiler alert: evolution is true. Visit Berkeley's excellent Understanding Evolution Website. Or, if you're pressed for time, watch this cartoon.

Read Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne.

Read The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins.

Watch this series where Aron Ra explains in great detail how all life is connected in a giant family tree.

Learn about the origin of the universe. For example, you could read A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

Learn about critical thinking from people like [Michael Shermer] (http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_shermer_on_believing_strange_things?language=en), and how to spot logical fallacies.

For good measure, use actual data and facts to learn the we are NOT living in some biblical "last days". Things have gotten remarkably better as man has progressed in knowledge. For example, watch this cartoon explaining how war is on the decline.

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker.

Watch this Ted Talk by Hans Rosling, the late Swedish Statistician, where he shows more evidence that the world is indeed becoming a better place, and why we tend to wrongly convince ourselves otherwise.

I wish you the best. There is a whole world of legitimate information out there based on actual evidence that we can use to become more knowledgeable people.

You may still wonder how you can be a good human without "the truth." Here is a good discussion on how one can be good without god. --Replace where he talks about hell with armageddon, and heaven with paradise--

Start to help yourself begin to live a life where, as Matt Dillahunty puts it, you'll "believe as many true things, and as few false things as possible."

u/mausphart · 11 pointsr/evolution

Here are some books, articles, websites and YouTube Videos that helped me on my journey from a hardcore creationist to a High School Biology teacher.

BOOKS

The Language of God - By Francis Collins ~ A defense of Evolution by the head of the Human Genome Project (Who also happens to be Christian)

Only a Theory - By Ken Miller ~ Another Christian biologist who accepts and vigorously defends the theory of evolution

Your Inner Fish - by Neil Shubin ~ The wonderful story of how Tiktaalik was found

Why Evolution is True - By Jerry Coyne ~ A simple and thorough treatment of evolution written for the mainstream

The Greatest Show on Earth - By Richard Dawkins ~ A wonderful and beautifully written celebration of evolution

The Panda's Thumb - By Stephen Jay Gould ~ A collection of eloquent and intelligent essays written by SJG. Any of his collections would do but this one is my favorite.

ARTICLES

Crossing the Divide - By Jennifer Couzin ~ an article about an ex-creationist and his difficult journey into enlightenment.

15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense - John Rennie ~ a nice rundown of the major objections to evolution.

WEBSITE

An index of Creationist Claims - Via the TalkOrigins archive ~ an impressive index of the major problems creationists have with evolution, as well as good, evidence based rebuttals.

YOUTUBE VIDEOS/PLAYLISTS

Why do People Laugh at Creationsts? - Via Thunderf00t ~ a scathing review of outrageous sins of logic committed by creationists. Thunderf00t's style isn't for everyone, since he can come off as smug and superior

How Evolution Works - Via DonExodus2 ~ a nice and thorough overview of how evolution works

The Theory of Evolution Made Easy - Via Potholer54

Evolution - Via Qualia Soup ~ short (10 minutes), simple and well made, this is one of my go-to videos to help logically explain how evolution happens.

u/tsvk · 9 pointsr/exchristian

Some books that have been often mentioned as good introductory texts about evolution for the layman:

Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne

The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin


Websites with general information:

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/ (old site: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/)


The folks at /r/evolution might be interested in giving their view, too if you have any specific questions.


You could also look into the biology curriculum of your college and check out the introductory biology courses you will soon be taking, and buy in advance the textbook(s) that deal with evolution.

u/julesjacobs · 9 pointsr/Christianity

It turned into science because we found lots of evidence for it.

Here is a short video about it: What is the evidence for evolution? by Stated Clearly.

And a longer book about it: Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne.

u/CrazedBotanist · 8 pointsr/askscience

I would not read On the Origin of Species to get an introduction to evolution. It is quite long winded, but that was the standard of the time.

I would start with Why is Evolution True by Jerry Coyne and The Greatest Show on Earth by Dawkins. At this point you should have a good grasp on the basics.

After reading these if you want a more technical introduction I would suggests The Selfish Gene by Dawkins.

u/jswhitten · 8 pointsr/evolution

I wouldn't bother arguing with them. It's notoriously difficult to reason someone out of a position they didn't use reason to get into in the first place.

If you're interested in evolution, by all means learn more about it, but do it for yourself. You can start here for an overview:

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-evolution.html

http://evolutionfaq.com/

And these books will explain in more depth:

https://smile.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649?sa-no-redirect=1

https://smile.amazon.com/Blind-Watchmaker-Evidence-Evolution-Universe/dp/0393351491?sa-no-redirect=1

https://smile.amazon.com/Selfish-Gene-Popular-Science/dp/0192860925?sa-no-redirect=1

u/ErrantThought · 7 pointsr/Christianity

> As far as I know there isn’t any real hard evidence for it.

For a nice overview of the plethora of evidence for evolution, read Jerry A. Coyne's Why Evolution is True. He gives lots, and lots, and LOTS of examples. It's easy to read.

Even if you believe in creationism, you should still read it. It's really important to look at the evidence that the other side presents so you can make an informed rebuttal.

u/swordstool · 6 pointsr/evolution

I second the recommendation for Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True. Very very good and highly accessible. Then, if you want further detail, go to The Greatest Show on Earth.

u/NukeThePope · 6 pointsr/atheism
  • Why Evolution is True is said to be the "best" layperson-oriented book available on the topic. I haven't read it because I learned this stuff in High School 40 years ago, so this is one of my few recommendations not based on my own reading.
  • I bought The Magic of Reality for my mother and read it out of interest. It's extremely well written, in a warm friendly tone, with lots of pretty pictures and great explanations. It's aimed at kids as young as 12, but it's not condescending or down-talking at all. Very enjoyable for a factual book on science - recommended!
  • As a Christian, you may be interested in this book written by Christian biologist Ken Miller: Finding Darwin's God. Can't accuse this guy of being biased against God! Also a great explainer, considered a classic. It's not 100% up to date but most of the information remains valid.
u/okrahtime · 6 pointsr/evolution

There are two books that I think would be good:

What Evolution Is

Why Evolution Is True

I liked both books. I am not sure how readable they are without a decent understanding of basic biology. Can you tell us how much background you have in biology? That may help with suggestions.

u/tomrhod · 5 pointsr/RationalPsychonaut

The study of the origin of life is an ongoing process in the scientific community. A reddit comment is hardly the place to summarize an entire area of ongoing scientific study and research.

If you'd like to know more, wikipedia has a page on it which delves into the many competing and conjoining theories on the origin of life as we best understand it now.

There's also the Miller-Urey experiment concerning the so-called primordial soup specifically. That established the kind of conditions in which simpler organic compounds form more complex ones, and how that relates to early earth conditions. It's all really interesting to read about.

Also that's different than evolution. And if we're having an argument as to whether evolution is a real thing, I don't even know where to begin with that. The evidence for it, available from a wide variety of sources, is so voluminous that anyone wanting to seriously learn about the scientific study of the evolution of life can find an abundance of literature discussing evolution of creatures both small and large. Richard Dawkins discusses much of what that is in his book The Greatest Show on Earth.

If you'd like a source from a less controversial figure, Prof Jeffrey Coyne (an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Chicago) has a good book: Why Evolution is True.

u/LordBeverage · 5 pointsr/philosophy

> and that means it is the end of the discussion is vapid

No one said that is the end of the discussion. They said it answers the question asked.

> short sighted, and lacks serious contemplation of the issue

Again simply asserted and not argued for.

> On top of all of that, it is overly simplistic.

No its not. In fact, though I doubt you've ever seriously studied evolutionary theory, it is quite complicated.

> In other words, saying we do what we do because of evolution presupposes and begs so many answers and questions that it is often times not a respectable or acceptable answer for those seeking greater understanding...

I don't think you have any idea at all about which questions and or answers are presupposed by explaining any of this in terms of evolutionary theory. A few specific (non-metaphorical) examples would be nice.

Again, you need to be careful: No one is saying everything we do makes sense in direct evolutionary terms. Skydiving doesn't seem to make any sense in evolutionary terms. But excitement, adventure, and thrill seeking do.

> For instance, if I order a pizza and want to know where it came from, Pizza Hut, while a valid answer doesn't address the greater(possible) context.

Answering "pizza hut" answers the question you asked. If you would like to know more, you must ask different, better questions. You didn't ask "where does the dough in my pizza come from?" you asked "where did my pizza come from?". This is not lazy, unimaginative, or vapid, it is accurate to the question asked. If you have a better, more specific question, there are other answers that make perfect sense in terms of pizza hut.

> While some of the questions to which I ask may never be known, to assert them as unimportant or lacking in value shows a bias and a personal prejudice that could very well lead to ignorance.

First, this doesn't follow. Just wanted to call your attention to that. Examining a question to discover that it doesn't really mean anything requires some of the most careful thinking humans do, and no-one could properly show that a question doesn't have value without first understanding what that value or meaning seems to be. And no, doing this does not engender any kind of bias or prejudice, in fact quite the opposite, it requires complete, accurate understanding.

"What is the color of envy?" Certainly green. But wait, that question doesn't make any sense. Emotions don't have colors. The question "why have we culturally associated negative emotions with colors which in certain constituents (vomit, rot, defication) trigger disgust?" is a much better, more meaningful question. But envy doesn't actually have a color, it is an emotion.

Second, nice straw-man. I suspect you're carrying baggage over from previous conversations.

> While I am not directing this at any person here, I am saying that I've seen many atheists lack either the willingness or comprehension skills necessary to consider other arguments/evaluate their own.

Ah yes, baggage definitely carried over from previous conversations. Never mind that this assertion, completely out of left field, shows a pretty gross generalization, I doubt you look any more intellectually capable or willing to them.

> Simply put, claiming that the reason for us being here is because evolution "just is" blindly assumes too much.

Like what? Again, I don't think you have even the slightest idea.

> After all there is no proof of this such a position, and even more so then that, there are good possible arguments to be made to the very contrary.

Oh lordy here it comes.

Read a book. Seriously prove yourself to be not a hypocrite and go buy those two books right now. And read them in full, charitably, even if you're not a creationist.

> Regardless my main point is simply this, many people(atheists) who argue for evolution as an answer worthy of general acceptance within humanity (for our be all end all origins of existence) have given up on the serious consideration of other alternatives

Yes, because the alternatives have been so thoroughly trounced, debunked, and defeated which evolution has been so thoroughly explanatory, consistent, and supported.

> as such are generally not interested in a fruitful discussion but merely want to espouse their dogmatic world view.

"Fruitful discussion" isn't just discussion which includes totally erroneous, impossible things. Upon your asking about where your pizza came from, my suggesting that we pay serious attention to my hypothesis that it was pooped out exactly as is by a superhero I call Pizza Man three minutes ago would not be a means to fruitful discussion. Having a diverse discussion isn't having a fruitful one. A fruitful discussion proceeds toward truth, it doesn't include as many possibilities as possible for their own sake.

> It's a completely different thing to say that since evolution created us we should just believe that is the totality of our origins.

Again, the stench of baggage here is heavy. First, if evolution created us, evolution created us, that is the totality of our origins. The question you're trying desperately to beg includes evolution creating us by the hand of a sky wizard. If that were the case, it wouldn't be evolution creating us. It would be evolution and a sky wizard. No evidence of the sky wizard, no reason to think he created us through evolution. No reason to think he didn't either, but in order to think he did (and that's what were worried about, if he did), ya need evidence.

And again with the straw-man. No one is saying that since we understand our evolutionary origins necessarily and sufficiently, we must now never consider any further possibility or amendment at all, ever. Quite the opposite, science is constantly doing it's best to discover that evolution is wrong- this is part of the scientific method. It doesn't seem to be able to do a very good job to that end (indeed more and more support keeps showing up), and that's why we take evolution so seriously.

We we don't do is give every random suggestion or hypothesis automatic credence as equally likely to be true just because some guy thought of it. You must have evidence that your hypothesis is true, or it is tentatively, parsimoniously considered not true (not 'false' mind you, 'not true'- as in lacking established truth value).

u/LadyAtheist · 5 pointsr/atheism

What the heck, I'm in the mood to toy with a troll on a Saturday night.

"People assume evolution is true because they say it's the most logical thing to believe, but I believe that intelligent design is more logical if you examine the evidence with no presuppositions."

First, scientists don't assume anything, and people who have gone to actual schools rather than Christian schools have learned the scientific method and possibly even proven evolution to themselves in a laboratory experiment (yes, it happens in the lab)

If you examine THE evidence? ... with no presuppositions? Funny. Because the Intelligent Design lie was invented by the Discovery Institute, whose mission is to prove that God is behind it all -- i.e. they are starting with a presupposition.

". Evolution has no proof. They have fossils and dating methods that they say is proof, but subjectively they must not truly be proof because if they were truly proof then there would be no intelligent people who believed in creation left"

hahahahhahaa that's a good one! They have thousands of fossils, and dating methods that have been proven... and when they dig where they expect to find certain kinds of fossils based on the theory of evolution, they find them! They have found fish that were able to walk on land, the transitional fossils between the hippo ancestor and the whale, etc.

The fallacy of appeal to authority is no kind of proof especially in this case because you're not appealing to biologists of the modern era, 99% of whom see evolution as the central defining theory of their life's work.

"Evolution has never, in human history, been observed. Their have been many cases of micro-evolution"

Caw! Caw! Caw! You, my friend, are a parrot. You are parroting Ken Ham, which is pretty funny. You obviously don't know that ALL evolution takes place with tiny steps -- i.e., there's no such thing as "macro evolution," so you and the people you parrot are demanding to see something that wouldn't fit the theory of evolution, then claiming that the theory is bunk because the experts haven't provided it. Guess what? That's a dishonest and shameful tactic. You should be ashamed of yourself for mindlessly parroting something so intellectually dishonest.

"3. Evolution goes against the law of entropy." That's just nonsense, again parroting Ken Ham and his ilk. Read this instead: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introduction_to_entropy Meanwhile, consider these points: A. How can crystals form if entropy governs everything and B. The sun sends radiation energy to the Earth, so the Earth is not a closed system - additional energy is added every day.

" it's more logical to believe that an all powerful God created everything than things evolving"

No, it's not more logical. Consider: A perfect God wouldn't have given us the appendix, the tailbone (and in some people actual tails), goosebumps, and other vestigial traits. These things are only logical in light of evolution.

So.. show me the proof? You have a computer. You can use google. You are literate. You can read a book. Why should random redditors be challenged to prove what you are too lazy and ignorant to discover for yourself? The evidence is not that hard to find. Try reading Jerry Coyne's book Why Evolution is True. http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649

Read up on fossils -- and not in Answers in Genesis or whatever source you parroted in your OP. Read up on how it's been true over and over and over that fossils are found in layers, in exactly the same order everywhere, and that you can predict which fossils you might find in a layer of ground based on evolutionary theory. Note, nobody has EVER found a fossil in a layer where it doesn't belong. A find like that would at the very least shake up one portion of the story that other fossils have told.

Evidence that points to evolution IS proof.

Look up "equivocation." This is a favorite trick of Ken Ham and his ilk. Don't do it! Stop it! Grow up and accept reality! You don't have to equivocate on words like that to learn science - you only have to do it to cling to the creator-god. The bronze age people who made up that story can't be faulted for believing it because they didn't have the scientific method, the technology to study the world like we do, or centuries of scientific findings that have told a much more interesting story.

But you are not a bronze age person, so let go of that fairy tale and embrace the real world.

u/leaftrove · 4 pointsr/biology

Why Evolution is True -Great intro to evolution

The Blind Watchmaker- Dawkins' best introduction to evolution book. If it intrigues you have a look at his other works.

Definitely watch this. One of the best and most simple lecture series on Evolution. By none other than Dawkins himself. Very basic in presentation and entertaining series:
Growing up in the Universe

Why dont you take a university class on Evolution? Or just take a bio 101 class which is going to teach evolution briefly in 1-2 lectures.

I just stumbled upon this course. Which is a evolution course at Yale Open Courses that you might want to check out:
http://oyc.yale.edu/ecology-and-evolutionary-biology/principles-of-evolution-ecology-and-behavior/

u/HaiKarate · 4 pointsr/exchristian

You've heard everything that the religious have to say. And, like most Christians, you've heard the critics being grossly misrepresented through apologetics.

I suggest that you start to study what the critics of Christianity have to say in their own words.

Here's a few to get you started:

  • God is not Great - I especially love the Audible version, as read by the author

  • Jesus, Interrupted - Written by one of the leading NT scholars in the world

  • Why Evolution is True - Because if you've grown up in a crazy Christian household, you probably never really had the chance to learn about evolution

    As they say, knowledge is power. Understanding why Christianity is wrong will help greatly with purging it from your mind.
u/Morpheus01 · 4 pointsr/atheism

> we don't see science as the enemy, we may deny things that are not proven definitively (i.e. evolution,darwinism)

Are you sure that you are not denying things that you do not WANT to be proven definitively (ie. evolution, darwinism)? If evolution was proven as "definitively" as germs causing disease or the earth being round, would you then stop denying it?

All of modern biology (aka. science) is based on evolution, how is that not seeing science as an enemy, if you deny basic modern science?

These resources may help you understand what has been "definitively" proven:

Ken Miller on Human Evolution
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi8FfMBYCkk

Why Evolution is True: Jerry Coyne
https://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649/

u/MarcoVincenzo · 4 pointsr/atheism

If you're looking for a "smaller" book, I can recommend Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. The main portion of the text is only a little over 200 pages so it's easy to do a quick first read. It also has a glossary so there are clear definitions of terms that may be unfamiliar. Coyne has a much gentler presentation than many, so for a first book on evolution it has much to recommend it.

u/roontish12 · 3 pointsr/atheism

Origin can seem pretty dated and tough to understand for people today. There are much better books out there which are much more up to date, and easier to understand.

Your Inner Fish

Why Evolution Is True

The Greatest Show On Earth

u/sharplikeginsu · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

That's right, yeah. There are tons of transitional fossils. Every fossil is a transitional fossil, technically :) But the big ones they always want to see are the ones between what we would now consider major species groups, like "land mammals" vs "whales". And yes, there are plenty of those.

It turns out that fossilization only happens in incredibly rare conditions. The critter generally has to have the right level of hard tissues, fall in one of the right kind of sediment, not get scavenged, etc. It's pretty amazing that we have as many as we do, if you think about it. So yes, we would expect a 'gappy' picture to connect the dots through, but there are MORE than enough dots to have a pretty good picture of what the whole tree looks like. (Even more data is now available with the advent of DNA sequencing, and it turns out to map generally pretty well to how the picture looked from only having fossils.) If you want more on this Why Evolution Is True is a good, not too intimidating read.

u/The_Mighty_Atom · 3 pointsr/exchristian

I would echo the other commenters' advice about keeping your sanity and surviving the next few years.

My addition to this discussion is book recommendations. If you want to learn more about evolution, check out the books Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne, The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins, and Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5 Billion Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin.

Reading these books will pretty much inoculate you against creationist bullshit (pardon the vaccination pun), and give you a great foundation in understanding one of the most basic facts of science --- evolution.

We all wish you the best as you navigate these difficult years. Please use this sub as much as you need! :)

u/mersch · 3 pointsr/atheism

I thought this book did a great job of listing big, high-level evidence for evolution.

http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649

u/MegaTrain · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

No problem. Keep in mind this was a process over 4-5 years.

> What was your initial reaction when you discovered that your beliefs didn't hold up to scrutiny?

Denial, basically.

My story in (very) short: I started learning about skeptical ideas and concepts around other ideas (ufos, bigfoot, esp, dowsing), then made the sudden connection: how do I know I'm not making the same mistakes (confirmation bias, hindsight bias, counting the hits and ignoring the misses, motivated reasoning, etc.) about my own belief about intercessory prayer? So my initial plan was to research and examine individual beliefs within Christianity one at a time; after all I could still be a Christian (of some variety) even if some of the Evangelical/Pentecostal-specific beliefs didn't prove out.

I even went as far as designing some very detailed statistical dice-rolling tests as a way to evaluate prayer (like a "fleece test", see Judges chapter 6).

But then I found atheist authors like Greta Christina who had writing so clear and to the point that, in a way, it cut the Gordian Knot of my big list of beliefs to investigate: if God didn't actually exist, then none of the rest of these details matter.

Even after that, I still clung to one thin thread of hope: Biblical Creationism. If the only reason we are here at all is because of God, then he can't just not exist, right? Well, about 3 chapters into Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne, I was an atheist.

> How should one go about trying to show evangelicals that their beliefs aren't worth keeping?

I think that would be a counter-productive approach. You can't convince someone their belief isn't worth keeping if they still believe it is true.

I was an Evangelical for 40 years because I believed it was true. I believe that the stories in the Old and New Testament were literally factual. I believed that I was a sinner that was in need of redemption, and had been saved by grace by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. I believe that I had a real, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I believed that I felt the real presence of a spiritual being in the church sanctuary during worship services.

In fact, my (stated) commitment to truth is a big part of why I felt that my investigation into my beliefs would surely confirm everything I already knew. But it also fortunately meant I was open to learning the truth, if I was wrong.

My only strategy is to ask a question shamelessly stolen from some of the witnessing material we studied in church: if what you believe were not true, would you want to know?

To many believers, the answer will be a clear and unashamed no. They're not interested in hearing anything that could even hypothetically change their mind. For them, even considering questions of doubt is "opening themselves up to the devil". For them, there is nothing you can say.

For those that are willing, I encourage them to research these kinds topics using materials from outside their Evangelical circle (even mainstream Christian scholars who are not Evangelicals). I have a Bible degree from an Evangelical university, and (you probably wouldn't be surprised to hear), we were only allowed to use materials from "Bible-believing" authors (ie, other Evangelicals). So even in college I never really studied these things from all sides, just from what Evangelicals set up as the straw man of what the other side said.

> What views of yours changed (e.g. on gay marriage, sex ed, abortion, etc., anything like that) when you discovered your beliefs didn't hold up to scrutiny?

Once I discovered I was wrong about the most important thing I believed about the universe, yes, the obvious follow-up was: well, what else might I be wrong about?

In short: everything.

I was a Rush Limbaugh listening, straight-ticket Republican voting, abortion and gay rights-opposing stereotypical member of the "religious right". As a teenager I was an enthusiastic volunteer on Pat Robertson's 1988 Presidential campaign.

I'm now a no-apology liberal, and am addicted to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. I consider myself a (still learning) feminist, and am supportive of LGBT rights, BLM and other social justice causes. I have changed my mind about abortion, although I've found having conversations about that with my (still believing) wife or other family/friends simply is never productive.

u/hedgeson119 · 3 pointsr/atheism

Check out the Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism.

Check out a copy of the books The Greatest Show on Earth or Why Evolution is True from a library. You can also get one of them for free on Audible, but you will miss out on the citations and diagrams.

See if you can watch or read The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking. I watched the miniseries, it's pretty good. It used to be on Netflix but no longer is.

Cosmos is great, and is on Netflix. If you want to watch videos about Cosmology just type in one of the popular physicist's names, Brian Greene, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss (his Universe from Nothing book is really great, so are his lectures about it), Sean Carroll etc.

Let me know if you want to talk, I'm always up for it.

u/burf12345 · 3 pointsr/atheism

While I haven't read it, Why Evolution Is True, by Jerry Coyne is supposed to be very good. Another one which I have read is The Greatest Show on Earth, by Richard Dawkins, a very good book

u/PiercedEars2KeepWife · 3 pointsr/DebateReligion

Natural selection is not defined as "survival of the fittest," that's just a colloquialism to help people understand the basic idea. The basic idea is that there is some process by which organisms who are more fit than others will reproduce more often, outcompeting those who are less fit. Natural selection is simply the mechanism that takes genetic mutation and environmental conditions and outputs organisms that succeed. It also outputs organisms that don't, hence the idea of 'out competing.'

I'm on mobile, so here's an ugly link to a good definition and high level overview:

https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_25

The phrase "survival of the fittest" reduces the idea down by trimming away the details to make a nice, intuitive catch phrase. However, that loss of information does lead people to misunderstand what natural selection really is.

As for your link, I'll respond with one of my own, if you're interested. I'm not an expert and don't keep the details of evolution handy. The book "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne goes into great detail about why the Theory of Evolution does make predictions and that those predictions are testable and verifiable. That will suffice as my rebuttal to Dr. Henry Peters' forced "tautology." After all, wouldn't you rather hear it from an expert than some internet stranger?

There are plenty of other books like Dr. Coyne's that would do just as well, however. I was able to check out his book for free at my local library, but here is the Amazon link ($14), so you have the details:

https://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649

u/chingychongchangwang · 3 pointsr/evolution

Definitely check out these books. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend “Why Evolution Is True” by Jerry Coyne

It’s may not go as deep as some others but it’s an easy read book that keeps you engaged and is totally worth your time. I love this book so much because it’s very approachable for anyone. It’s filled with easy to understand examples, and I find that it’s a great refresher for myself every now and then. It’s also a great book to give or recommend to others who may not know much about the subject.

As others have mentioned, Darwin’s book is more of a piece of history than anything else. It was absolutely groundbreaking at the time but we know so much more now. Plus, the way it was written definitely shows it’s age and makes it a kind of a hard read.

u/kangareagle · 3 pointsr/askscience

I'm late to see your comment, but you may find this interesting:

Coral produces annual rings and daily rings. If you add up the number of daily rings between annual rings, then you can figure out how many days were in that year.

Radioisotope dating showed that some fossilized coral that had been found was about 380 million years old.

Now, 380 million years ago, days were shorter, about 22 hours long. So there were more of them in a year.

To find out whether the day really was 22 hours long when the coral lived, they just counted the rings (or made a grad student do it).

Turns out that there were 400 daily rings between each annual ring, which correlates to 21.9 hours a day.

21.9 is close enough to 22 to feel pretty good about it. A great example of different parts of science coming together to verify each other.

Source: Why Evolution is True, by Jerry Coyne

u/mavnorman · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Why evolution is true by Jerry Coyne is concise, and keeps the bashing of creationists to a minimum, if I recall correctly.

u/lanemik · 2 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Please educate yourself about the theory of evolution.

Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins

Kent Hovind received his "masters" and "doctorate" in "Christian Education" by correspondence by a non-accredited school. Hovind has no formal scientific training, no research credentials, no worthwhile understanding of the basics of biology and certainly not even the most rudimentary understanding of developmental biology. This article ranges from complete nonsense to outright lying. Bringing this article in here and suggesting that it points out holes in evolution ought to be embarrassing for you. If it isn't, then you are too uneducated on the subject to even bother taking seriously and a sufficient answer is we are as certain about evolution as we are that the earth goes around the sun despite what "Dr. Dino" says.

u/Bilbo_Fraggins · 2 pointsr/Christianity

>Yeah be you are aware that you dont need to know greek because Jesus never spoke greek, he spoke Aramaic. So If God was really concerned about teaching the bible in a particular language it would obviously be in the same language Jesus spoke for accuracy.

So reading english translated from Greek has the same information content as reading Greek, because Jesus didn't speak Greek? Everyone who wrote the bible did speak greek.

>LIke I said above you must be on the inside track of the JW org because where else could you possibly get those numbers?

One of the most respected polling groups in the world.

http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/report-religious-landscape-study-full.pdf

If you want to argue what is true based on conversions, atheists, agnostics and unaffiliated have more people changing to their point of view and a lower percentage leaving than the Witnesses or any denomination. But that's a crappy argument, and one I have no interest in useing. You see, I have facts on my side that are easily verified by any individual.

Oh, and I do argue with Christians occasionally, but I usually do it in /r/debatereligion, as that's what it's for.

I agree with you guys on one point: Evolution and Christianity are incompatible. Unfortunately, one of these has overwhelming proof, and the other has assertions that sound almost exactly like those of a Imam or Hindu guru, with nothing to show that it is exceptional at all. Except exceptionally wrong about the past predictions.

I'll admit I have not been a JW. I happily will accept correction where my ideas about what you think are wrong. I highly suggest you learn about the difference between insulting and providing evidence and argument though. That link will show why your name calling, ad hominum, and complaints about tone are totally useless as arguments go.

You could start with how you make sense of the fact that the dates required to support many of your beliefs are wrong as mentioned before? That the overwhelming evidence points to evolution by natural selection over billions of years? That a global flood that covered all-earth under all-heaven is impossible without leaving a shred of evidence and much counter evidence like uninterrupted civilizations, tree rings that go back 10,000 years, ice cores that go back 800,000 years (somehow the flood didn't melt those) and much, much more.

Also, we're quite sure there was no historical Adam either, based on at least 3 overlapping sets of genetic evidence. And yes, the Adam findings are all quoting Christian, if not JW, scientists if that matters to you. And don't get me started on what archeology and higher biblical criticism has to say. Basically, every bit of knowledge we've gained in the past 100 years contradicts your dogma. So, where are my facts wrong? Do you have an argument or counter argument, or are you going to delve into ad hominum again?

u/Flat_prior · 2 pointsr/dataisbeautiful

Hello there,

As an evolutionary biologist, I'd like to extend to you a list of beginner-friendly books regarding evolutionary biology. The first I'd recommend is The Blind Watchmaker . I bring this one up first because the complexity of life astonishes you. Although life is truly complex, this can be explained by diversity-generating processes (e.g. mutation) coupled with non-random replicative success (natural selection). I also understand Dawkins is an acquired taste, personality/TV wise. His science writing is more palatable.

The second book I'd recommend is Why Evolution is True . This book succinctly covers the basics of evolution and gives notable examples.

The last book I'd recommend is a bit nerdy and mathy, but it is a good intro into evolution and genetics. That book is A Primer of Population Genetics (if you do buy it, but it used).

If you really want to nerd out, there are open source (free to read) journals online. One is Ecology and Evolution . This journal is more niche; the other is PLoS ONE which is more general. The provided link will direct you to papers binned under 'evolution'.

Hope this helps.

Cheers.

u/craigmont924 · 2 pointsr/Flat_Earth

That's not how evolution works, and you can't make it our job to "prove it" to you.

If you're honestly interested, there is an entire scientific consensus out there if you're really as educated as you claim to be.

Here's a good place to start: https://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1424195684&sr=1-1

Either that, or I'm starting to think you are one of the best trolls ever.

u/too_much_to_do · 2 pointsr/exmormon
u/Rhizobium · 2 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion

I'm not qualified to make a recommendation on basic physics, but here are some of the best examples of science writing I've come across for the other subjects you've listed:

  1. Scientific History and Chemistry - The Invention of Air, by Steven Johnson. This book is about Joseph Priestley, and his contribution to the discovery of oxygen. Priestley was incredibly prolific, and made a ton of contributions to completely unrelated fields. It also touches on why science started to really take off at this point in history, and the necessary conditions for good science to occur.

  2. Natural Sciences - Why Evolution Is True. Jerry Coyne takes a college-level biology class on evolution, and condenses it into a single book. It is very easy to understand, even if you don't have a biology background.

  3. Scientific History and Astronomy - The Big Bang by Simon Singh. This is probably the best popular science book I've ever read. A lot of these books will tell you how scientists think the universe works, and stop there. This book is different, it explains the reasons why scientists think the universe is a particular way, and lays out the history of how these ideas changed during the development of astronomy.
u/yesiliketacos · 2 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

A lot of people have suggesting The Selfish Gene by Dawkins. I personally find him really annoying, but Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne is a great book on the subject

u/MekkaGodzilla · 2 pointsr/forwardsfromgrandma

Try with this one Why Evolution is True, by Jerry Coyne.
Pretty good book actually.

u/Seekin · 2 pointsr/atheism

I actually preferred Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. Both this and Greatest Show on Earth lay out the evidence for evolutionary theory for general audiences. I just happen to think Coyne's is a bit more compelling. This is a bit surprising as I generally find Dawkins' writing excellent and compelling. You might want to check out the Coyne for yourself sometime, though, as it is excellent indeed!

u/Dathadorne · 2 pointsr/evolution

These two books are basically a template. Take notes.

u/Semie_Mosley · 2 pointsr/atheism

If you're going to hand these books over to others, you might want to go with something a little less technical as a first introduction. I highly recommend these books:

By Neil Shubin: Neil is a paleo-ichthyologist (he studies ancient fish) who discovered Tiktaalik. The link between modern humans and ancient fish are very well-known.

Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body


And for the link between organic and inorganic materials:

The Universe Within: The Deep History of the Human Body: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets and People

And by Jerry Coyne

Why Evolution is True

And for a more detailed technical book, on a level for graduate school, this one by Jerry Coyne and H. Allen Orr:

Speciation

I hope these serve you well.

u/a-man-from-earth · 2 pointsr/Christianity

> That whole 'evolution' thing is ridiculous!
>
>
>
> How anyone can believe that is beyond me. They let science make it up as they go along from the flimsiest and unsupported evidence.

That just tells me you do not understand the science. There are heaps and heaps of evidence for evolution. You should read up on it, so you at least understand what you are criticizing.

Some recommendations:

u/Ibrey · 2 pointsr/atheism

I'm not sure how safe you are to assume that all missionaries will need an education about evolution, but I'm sure you could spare two or three copies of Why Evolution Is True or Only a Theory.

u/sbicknel · 2 pointsr/atheism

Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne is an excellent explanation of evolution in contrast with creationism by an expert in the field. I just finished reading it a couple of weeks ago.

Don't assume that when creationists claim to have done their own research that they have done anything more than to consider sources that confirm their biases. You'll know this is the case if you suggest credible scientific sources and they dismiss them without reading, watching, or listening to them as being somehow biased.

You might ask him to explain how after the flood the fossils that have been found all sorted themselves into the layers we find them in. You might also ask him to explain how there are human archaeological artifacts that date to before creationism's estimate of when Adam and Eve lived. While he's at it, ask him to explain why a single human pair fails to explain the diversity in human DNA that we find today. And why is it that we find species of plants and animals that are now extinct and present species of plants and animals that previously did not exist if God's creation was so perfect.

I think you'll have a harder time arguing that accepting evolution will not necessarily have an impact on his beliefs of a higher power. Think about it. If evolution is true, then the story of the garden of Eden cannot be true. It means that there was no Adam and Eve, no garden, no tree of the knowledge of good and evil, no serpent, and no transgression that is referred to as original sin. Without original sin there is no need for salvation, which makes Christ's sacrifice on the cross pointless. It undermines the entire foundation of Christianity.

But be careful. He is likely to conflate evolution with abiogenesis, which is a theory of the origin of life. Evolution is the theory of the origin of the diversity of species, not of how life itself began.

He is also likely to say that evolution is "just a theory," revealing his ignorance of basic scientific process and terminology. In the end, he may simply refuse to accept it no matter how convincing the evidence may be. It may be completely pointless to even talk to him.

u/idigdigdug · 2 pointsr/Judaism

Lots of comments here trying to argue that you're "doing Judiasm wrong" or "not hard enough" ("Of course mitzvos aren't fun... that's the point!") so I'll offer the kofer perspective.


Write:

  • Start a blog (if kids do that these days, tumblr?) and write about your thoughts and ideas. The process will help you figure out what you think. You will also get feedback from readers who will challenge you and help you sharpen and defend your point of view. Google phrases like: jewish skeptic blog, orthoprax, frum skeptic. You'll find a whole community of people asking the same questions you are.


    Do:
  • Do the mitzvos that you find meaning in. Try alternatives to mitzvos that turn you off to Judiasm. For example, I get nothing out of davening so when I go to shul I bring a book that offers some personal or spiritual growth and read that on Shabbos instead. (I do not go to shul during the week).


    Here's a bunch of stuff I've found informative in my personal journey:


    Skeptic reading:
  • On the origin of the Torah - Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman
  • On the origin of the Universe - A Brief History Time by Stephen Hawking
  • On the origin of people - Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne


    Skeptic viewing:
  • To see a pair of magicians aggressively attack illogical thought - Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (if you don't have Prime just YouTube it).
  • To see a bombastic, arrogant, smart, funny atheist debate R' Boteach - Christopher Hitchens and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach Debate on God - There a lots of these on YouTube. Many are worth watching.
  • Mythbusters - A good place to be entertained and learn how to attack a question/problem analytically.


    Skeptic Listening:
  • This American Life: 290: Godless America Personally, I found Act Two with Julia Sweeney particularly meaningful.
u/city-runner · 2 pointsr/exchristian

LeAgente answered things better than I could. Also I was thinking of checking out these books that relate to your first question:

Why Darwin matters: the case against intelligent design

why evolution is true

I haven't read them, but took note to maybe read them (probably through this subreddit I heard of one). It seems like they're geared towards people who were raised without much education on evolution or from YEC backgrounds. Reviews said they laid things out well. You may be interested.

Also...if anyone has read these...what'd you think? Any other recommendations?

u/SomeRandomMax · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Personally, I find the subject of Evolution fascinating. Almost no subject causes more disagreement in our society today, yet at it's core it extremely simple and almost trivial to understand the basics. People go out of their way to misunderstand it, which is amazing considering just how simple it really is.

There are lots of great books on the subject, but I personally recommend the book Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. It is easy and clear, and presents all the overwhelming evidence in a straightforward manner.

u/Kralizec555 · 2 pointsr/atheism
u/jjberg2 · 2 pointsr/askscience

In what sense do you consider Dawkins "biased" such that any other writer on the topic of evolution wouldn't be? The Selfish Gene is quite probably the best introduction there is to evolutionary concepts for someone at your stated level of education, and any beliefs or positions that Dawkins might hold that you may consider "bias" will be held by just about any other author on this topic. It's just that he's the loudest, so that's why you've heard of him.

That said, I have heard very good things about Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True, although I have not read it myself.

u/carpecaffeum · 2 pointsr/askscience

How about "Why evolution is true" by evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne? It's meant to be accessible to pretty much everyone.

u/scarydinosaur · 2 pointsr/atheism

Many things can be explained better with evolution. Evolution is a theory, in the scientific sense, and that means it's veracity is tested by current and emerging evidence. If it didn't have the explanatory power for most of the evidence then it wouldn't be so popular. So it certainly doesn't explain everything, it just explains the data we have so far. There are countless things we simply don't know yet.

If you're open to understanding the core aspects of Evolution, please read:

Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

Why Evolution Is True

As for freewill, it depends on the atheist. Some believe in free will, while others don't think we actually posses it.



u/FeChaff · 2 pointsr/atheism

A good popular science type book laying out the evidence for evolution is Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True

u/DRUMS11 · 2 pointsr/Columbus

Go read Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. It's an excellent book that answers every single one of your objections, with plenty of citations that you can actually go look up for yourself.

edit: See also, the Nova special on the Dover Intelligent Design trial in which, more or less, proponents of creationism put up their best defense and are crushed.

u/OddJackdaw · 2 pointsr/DebateEvolution

Jerry Coyne has an entire wonderful book rebutting Creationism and at the same time laying out all the evidence for, well, Why Evolution is True. While I don't remember anything specifically about biodiversity, if you want to address the most common creationist arguments, it is the best go-to book.

https://smile.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne-dp-0143116649/dp/0143116649/

u/Mablun · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Why Evolution is True

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark


Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (free online!)

Guns, Germs, Steel

The God Delusion

Misquoting Jesus (Conceptional this is very compatible with Mormonism--the Bible not being translated correctly so we need the BoM!--but the specifics about what got mistranslated are devastating as Mormonism doubled down on the mistranslated parts. oops.)

Don't even both learning anything more about Mormonism. Just be widely read and you'll soon see that the Mormon version of history is in incongruent with reality. This will cause cognitive dissonance and when you're ready to resolve it, go back and read independent sources about Mormonism and it will be very obvious that the narrative they indoctrinated into you as a child doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

u/sickbeard2 · 1 pointr/DebateAnAtheist

Why Evolution is True

That book talks about all the things Kiwi mentions, and has a list of sources.

It's a good read too.

Edit: if you don't want to waste time and money reading a whole book, here's an article by the author summarizing his book

Forbes -Why Evolution is True

u/updn · 1 pointr/evolution

If you really become interested in this subject, a really good, easy to read book I enjoyed is Why Evolution is True by Jerry Koyne.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0143116649/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1453066607&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=why+evolution+is+true+by+jerry+coyne

u/pcpcy · 1 pointr/exmuslim

Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne (a professor in biology), and The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins (an evolutionary biologist too) outline the evidence for evolution in a clear and easy to understand way, and explain the basics of evolution as well.

You need to learn the theory of evolution as well and not just the evidence for it. The University of Berkley has a great online Evolution 101 short course that you can view here.

Once you understand evolution and see the evidence we have for it, you'll be able to educate your dad on it in an enthusiastic way, and not in a confrontational one.

u/littletsunamie · 1 pointr/askscience

I have heard great things about KhanAcademy. As far as books go, for Humans, the course I co-teach uses Human Evolutionary Genetics: Origins, Peoples & Disease (ISBN 0-8153-4183), but I would definitely brush up on basics before reading that one -its definitely a text book, but a great reference. A more general book might be Why Evolution is True , and I like 'Survival of The Sickest' for some general knowledge on why some diseases tend to stick around (which you would think would go away...). I hope that helps, that's about all I can think of off the top of my head right now. PM me if you have any questions too, I love talking about genetics. :)

u/nightwing2024 · 1 pointr/funny

Don't be offended, but for the sake of a congruent discussion I'm going to reply to your response in sections. Some people find it annoying or pompous, but I assure you that is not the case.

>Well I've probably read the same texts you have in school, it's not like I was home-schooled in Alabama or anything,

I didn't actually have my "intellectual awakening" until I was out of High School. And not in the "took Philosophy 101 and now I think I understand the world" kind of way. I just didn't really look deeper into the world around me until I was 19 or 20. I was a very shallow person for a long time.

> I've found the atheist model of looking at reality intellectually wanting.

I question what exactly the "atheist model" you mention is. Atheism isn't a religion and has no dogma or tenants to follow. It simply means that I do not believe that there is a god or gods. More specifically, I am agnostic atheist, meaning that though I do not believe in any gods, I do not claim it to be definitive. Merely that there isn't evidence to support the claim of any god(s). You're theist, I'm atheist. If we drill down into each other's beliefs, there would be more specific terms like Christianity or Darwinism, for instance, but those are not synonyms for (a)theism.

>I was considered bright and well-read in college if that helps distance you from some prejudice you may have in your mind.

I push myself to not judge someone from a couple internet comments. I don't think you're dumb, or anything like that. Perhaps misinformed, but certainly not unintelligent.

>When you say "proud not to know" it makes me question if that's your true attitude towards any theist or just the radical U.S. "GOP", evangelical version of it.

Certainly not. I associate with a very diverse set of people. There are some very angry, ignorant atheists, just like there are very smart, kind theists. And it has nothing to do with a political party in my eyes. Individuals need to be treated as such. Everyone knows and thinks differently.

>There are arguments out there that strongly challenge the hypothesis of macro-evolution (for example) that I HIGHLY doubt many in this generation are familiar with

Before I get into the meat of this part, I'll say that while there are many ignorant people of all beliefs, it's not beneficial to discussion to narrow it down to any generation, young or old. It insults many without cause.

This here, however, is a definite sticking point with me. No other theory "strongly" challenges the mountain of evidence for evolution. There is truly no reason to divide this into macro/micro. It's the exact same mechanism under both terms, and those who wish to argue against evolution were the ones to introduce this separation of concept. The only real difference between them is the length of time evolution acts across, and I will admit that trying to wrap one's head around the hundreds of millions of years that this process has been acting is daunting. Here is where I would make my first book recommendation, "Why Evolution Is True" by Jerry Coyne. I know the tile is a little on the nose, but the reason I choose this is because the author presents the overwhelming evidence for evolution in a digestible, logic driven manner. It responds to nearly every common objection raised by those who doubt the scientific theory, and uses clear, concise wording to accomplish it.

>so sometimes I just get a little annoyed when I see another "all believers are idiots" types of posts when their own personal understanding of the science(s) involved is often threadbare at best.

I am in absolute agreement with you here. All believers are assuredly NOT idiots, and Religion and the idea of higher powers persists for many reasons, but among the most prevalent is that of comfort. It is a tough world out there and answers can be hard to come by. Things happen(good and bad), often without a clear explanation. Believing in a god means shifting these uncertainties off one's own thoughts so that he/she can keep moving forward with life. (Obviously there's more to it than that, just an example).

>Especially because you can spout that all day but let someone fire a salvo back and watch the censors get busy. Such a double-standard but that's not your fault.

I assure you I am willing to hear all ideas on belief without censor, but one of my personal favorite quotes applies, and that is "That can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." Burden of proof is a key concept to understand.

>You're basically putting yourself in a position where everyone who believes they've had a genuine spiritual experience is either stupid or a liar. If that's not ignorance or pride I don't know what is.

What qualifies as a spiritual experience in your eyes?

>You're right that most religion tends towards a lot of negativity, but that's as much a sign that spiritual warfare exists as it is for arguing it doesn't.

I realize I'm guilty of it as well in this meandering reply, but if you wish to have a healthy discourse, try to keep your topics more narrow. Religion in general is a much larger can of worms than evolution or theism/atheism, and requires a much broader set of ideas to be exchanged.

---

Okay, sorry that took so long, and about the length of the text. I spent a lot of my day thinking on your words.

u/devianaut · 1 pointr/exchristian

my advice is to buy your mother-in-law one or all of these books:

• jason rosenhouse's among the creationists

• richard dawkin's the greatest show on earth

• jerry a. coyne's why evolution is true

• bill nye's undeniable: evolution and the science of creation

edit: a word.

u/JohnJay721 · 1 pointr/atheism

Get this book and learn why.

u/sciencepoetryreality · 1 pointr/exchristian

I went to Alpha when I was still a Christian, but when doubts were starting to form. They invite you in by sharing a meal together, watching Gumbel's presentation, and having discussion. The video segments are made up of the same old arguments stating that people are basically bad and need to be made right by the blood of Jesus. It's an effective tool on those who aren't able to or aren't trained in logical/cognitive fallacies.

> I've tried to respectfully challenge her on a couple of things, but she feels that I'm attacking her new found faith.

IMO this is a red flag. Being defensive usually doesn't allow for an open mind. Be wary.

> Are there any good books which help explain non-literalist Christian beliefs to someone who came from a literalist background?

I wouldn't keep pointing in the direction of belief, but rather point in the direction of truth (Plus, we were taught to hate Rob Bell in church):

u/Phantomchrism · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Hey, I just want you to know that if it's just a hobby you are looking at a ton of information to process. What you are refering to is called taxonomy, You can check out Zoology books that are meant for the university, I think it's quite friendly to people who haven't had that much biology before, but some knowledge is adviced. Check out "integrated principles of zoology" by McGraw Hill.
http://www.amazon.com/Integrated-Principles-Zoology-Cleveland-Hickman/dp/0073524212

If you want popular science I can recommend:
1- A very easy and straightforward approach to evolution is "Why Evolution is true" by Jerry A Coyne. http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649

2- Richard Dawkins has a book that is dedicated to the evolution of humans, it's called "The ancestors tale" http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17977.The_Ancestor_s_Tale (I haven't read it, but I'm told it's very good). A lot of people don't like him, I think he can be a bit obnoxious and unapologetic in religious debates, but if you are interested in evolution you should be able to filter past that.

Happy reading!

u/PrecariousLee · 1 pointr/exchristian
u/Megatron_McLargeHuge · 1 pointr/IAmA

Try this or a Dawkins book. Darwin's works are of historical interest only at this point.

Or better yet, put "For rectal use only" stickers on the merchandise.

u/rotyag · 1 pointr/atheism

Take the acceptance she gives you and appreciate it. Don't seek to change her. If she has questions, she'll come to you.

On evolution, if she ever did want to challenge her position, I found that "Why Evolution is True" to be a good read.

u/remembertosmilebot · 1 pointr/exchristian

Did you know Amazon will donate a portion of every purchase if you shop by going to smile.amazon.com instead? Over $50,000,000 has been raised for charity - all you need to do is change the URL!

Here are your smile-ified links:

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Why Evolution Is True

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

Why There Is No God

Jesus, Interrupted

The God Argument

Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason

---

^^i'm ^^a ^^friendly bot

u/OwnerByDane · 1 pointr/evolution
u/zeyus · 1 pointr/exjw

Awesome, it's great you're so proud of her!

Haha knowledge that leads to everlasting boredom! Book studies were the worst, I always felt super obligated to study extra hard because there were so few people that often nobody would answer!

Don't be so sure that your family will keep abandoning you, it's possible sure, but there's always hope! Often they're surprised that you can leave the witnesses and live a normal, or even better than normal life (of course there's always the "blessed by satan" get out clause) but they do expect people who leave to get aids and die from a heroin overdose.

It's easy to prove them wrong! Either way though, you have your own family to look out for and you can learn what not to do!

On to the suggested reading. I've mentioned many on here before but I don't expect everyone to be aware of it all so here goes:

Reading (I have a kindle and love reading, but they're all available for ebook and in paperback)

u/NtheLegend · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Generally speaking, when portions of a species live apart long enough, through genetic drift alone, they become different. Leave them apart long enough and they become incompatible, which then creates a new species. There are absolutely some exceptions to this, but that's largely where the line is drawn.

Look at humans. We came out of Africa dark-skinned, but through subtle changes became Caucasoid and Mongoloid as well. Given hundreds of thousands or millions of years of isolation, these very well could've produced three distinct species of human, but because none of these populations were isolated - and we can now go around the world quickly - humans can never really become a new species despite how diverse we've become.

Think of language. Settlers came to what is now the British Isles with French and German and the result is modern British English. Twist it a bit further, isolate it, and you get American English and subsets like Ebonics. French and German are derived from their own sources as well.

If you'd love to know more, check out Jerry Coyne's excellent book "Why Evolution Is True". http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649

u/Ichthus_ · 1 pointr/AskMen

Why Evolution is True. Originally started as a book I had to read for class, but it turned out to be pretty interesting. The only downside is there's a kind of subtle militant atheism to it. I'm an atheist myself, but in the book, there's kind of a "This is right and Special Creation is stupid." Granted, it could be the author holding special creationism to the same standard evolution endures. He never blatantly attacks any particular religion. Pretty cheap on Amazon if anyone is interested. It's kind of a light read.

Next, I'll be reading Your Inner Fish. Looking forward to that one.

u/JW_Skeptic · 1 pointr/exjw

I'm 38 now, but I woke up when I was almost 30. I felt the same way; that I had to start over again on a worldview. When I went back to college, I took every single class I could think of that the Watchtower Society would frown upon. For science, I took anthropology (emphasis on human biological evolution), astronomy, biology, geology, and earth history; lecture and lab for all classes. I also took anthropology of religion, magic, and witchcraft. I took an advanced upper level English course with an emphasis of ancient mythology. I took four philosophy classes, intro to philosophy, logic in practice, critical thinking and composition, and philosophy of religion. All of this served as a foundation for a secular worldview.

First and foremost, you need to learn how to think and not what to think. This is where philosophy comes in. An Introductory Philosophy class at a local community college is a great start. Logic, particularly informal logic and logical fallacies should be learned first. Identifying logical fallacies is what will help you differentiate between good information and bad information. The reason the Watchtower Society admonishes against higher education, is because a critical thinking component is generally a standard part of a General Education guideline. A first year college freshman will learn the intellectual tools necessary to recognize the logical fallacies, rhetoric, and deceptive tactics used by politicians, advertisers, and religious authorities, such as Watchtower. If you can't take a philosophy class, search YouTube for "Philosophy for beginners" and then search "informal logic for beginners". Once you have a full understanding of logical fallacies (which is part of informal logic), you will become dismayed of how much Watchtower uses them, and how JWs are oblivious to this. You'll see it in politics and union propaganda as well, so there are other benefits too. On a side note, this video was shown in my Introductory Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion classes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69F7GhASOdM There are striking parallels to waking up from the JW religion and Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Going back into the cave is not an option.

With the background of learning how to think, topics in science, and everything else comes a lot easier. Although courses in anthropology, biology, and earth history (which includes history of life on earth) do teach evolution, the basics of biological evolution can be found on YouTube by searching "evolution for dummies". Once you understand what it is, then look at the evidence for evolution. This is an important second step, because unlike Creationism, there are tons of evidence for evolution. This is where the "aha" moments comes from. I recommend this article by the Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/her/evolution-and-natural-selection/a/lines-of-evidence-for-evolution I also recommend the book Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. He goes into detail the five pillars of evidence for evolution; comparative anatomy, genetics, biogeography, and embryology. This book is found in most public libraries, so you can check it out for free get it on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649 Also, check out the Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism series on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnJX68ELbAY&list=PL126AFB53A6F002CC

Understand that learning all of this is not easy. It takes time and patience. But the payoff in the end is well worth it. It's not like going to a meeting and hearing the same recycled drivel over and over again. I'm still not refined on a political position. All I can say is that I do not identify with any party because doing so obligates me to defend that platform. I like certain things from each party, and I vote accordingly. However, you can take an online "what political party am I quiz" to get a sense of where you are.

u/SeriesOfAdjectives · 1 pointr/news

Most of my in-depth knowledge came from university courses, but there are lots of good books out there. I've read this one and would definitely recommend it, it doesn't require any prior knowledge of the topic.

u/efrique · 1 pointr/atheism

Did you try the FAQ?

  1. when arguing with creationists, use talkorigins.org

    Especially this: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/

    With it you should be able to reduce almost any book he can find to a tattered ruin

  2. books:

    Why Evolution Is True

    The Greatest Show On Earth

    Your Inner Fish shows a successful prediction of evolution as well as the myriad pieces of evidence in our own bodies

u/wifibandit · 1 pointr/worldnews

> The Bible was still legit

Take some time to learn about the history of the bible. For example, you can take the Open Yale Courses on Religious Studies for free.

Read Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman

Also read A History of God by Karen Armstrong

Next, learn some actual science. For example - spoiler alert: evolution is true. Visit Berkeley's excellent Understanding Evolution Website.. Or, if you're pressed for time, watch this cartoon.

Read Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne

Read The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

Learn about the origin of the universe. For example, you could read works by Stephen Hawking

Read A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Learn about critical thinking from people like Michael Shermer, and how to spot logical fallacies.

u/tikael · 1 pointr/skeptic

This site has responses to everything in the movie. Also, the NOVA special Judgement Day: intelligent design on trial is another great resource for why ID is not a scientific proposition. There are also some books out (Why evolution is true and The greatest show on earth) but it is very likely that he would not read them.

>He refused to listen to any facts from me and actually hung up on me.

There is the problem, there is no amount of discussion or evidence that will get through to him until he starts acting like an adult.

u/Beaver1279 · 1 pointr/atheism

I think you may just be overlooking the data. For example, how can you say that, "All I see there is talking about a species adapting. Not inter-species evolution." with clear examples such as cetacean evolution?

It is also important to note that even if we had no fossils evidence (which we have plenty of) genetic sequencing has more than confirmed common descent.


One thing I will say is the thread that started this is idiotic. The fact that Dinosaur bones exist is not a refutation of creationism. There are plenty of good reasons to believe that a creator is not necessary to explain anything and then without sufficient evidence should be rejected.


Finally, never forget that even if the theory evolution were refuted today that would not make intelligent design, young earth creationism or any other theory correct. It is not an either or situation. None of these theories have any credible evidence. On the other hand there are mountains of evidence for evolution.

Here are some options for further reading.

Why Evolution is True
This is a really good book for people new to the theory.


Evolution by Douglas J. Futuyma
This text book gets into the meat and potatoes of the issue. A very fun read.

u/bmobula · 1 pointr/politics

> Science does not "work differently in different countries". Science is the scientific method.

I LOLed at the ignorance, I really did! Oh dear, what a sheltered little life you must lead. Don't get me wrong, I wish research funding fell out of the sky with no political agenda or strings attached, but sadly that is not the reality. Of course if you knew anything about scientific research, I wouldn't have to explain this to you like you were a child.

> I'm agnostic.

If you're agnostic and you're accusing scientists like myself - people who have reviewed the mountain of evidence in support of the theory of evolution by natural selection that converges from dozens of different disciplines and concluded that it is a fact - of being a cult member, then you are either fantastically ignorant or fantastically stupid. Or both.

As it happens, there are several superb books that explain all of the evidence for evolution in ways that are reasonable accessible to educationally deprived individuals such as yourself. Perhaps a little less Fox News for you, and a little more reading, hmm?

http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0143116649/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319155823&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-What-Fossils-Say-Matters/dp/0231139624/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1319155823&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Inner-Fish-Journey-3-5-Billion-Year/dp/0307277453/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1319155823&sr=8-3

http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Show-Earth-Evidence-Evolution/dp/1416594787/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1319155823&sr=8-7

u/geach_the_geek · 1 pointr/biology

This isn't heavily science-y and a bit journalized, but I really enjoyed Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadaver's by Mary Roach. I also like Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. There's a lot of overlap with what he teaches at his UChicago Eco & Evo course. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre is also wonderful, but will likely make you angry. Yet another interesting read is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

u/LarryPantsJr7 · 1 pointr/atheism

How about this one

u/Cheater182 · 0 pointsr/DebateReligion

If you'd like to understand evolution better, I'd suggest Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. He gives a very good explanation of it that even a layman can understand. For that reason, it's the best book ever written on evolution in my opinion. I know Dawkins can be a little technical.

Edit: Screwed the title up.