Jerry Coyne at the University of Chicago, August 2006, with the "lab cat" Dusty.
|Born||December 30, 1949|
|Fields||Ecology and Evolution|
|Institutions||University of Chicago|
|Alma mater||College of William & Mary, Harvard University (Ph.D)|
Jerry Allen Coyne (born December 30, 1949) is an American professor of biology, known for his commentary on the intelligent design debate. A prolific scientist, he has published dozens of papers, elucidating on the theory of evolution. He is currently a professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Ecology and Evolution. His concentration is speciation and ecological and evolutionary genetics, particularly as they involve the fruit fly, Drosophila. He is the author of the standard text Speciation and the bestselling science popularization Why Evolution Is True, and maintains a website also called Why Evolution Is True.
Coyne graduated with a B.S. in biology from the College of William & Mary in 1971. He started graduate work at Rockefeller University under Theodosius Dobzhansky before logistical complications (draft) forced a hiatus. He then earned a Ph.D. in biology at Harvard University, studying under Richard Lewontin, and went on to do a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis with Timothy Prout. He was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1989, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007, and received the "Emperor Has No Clothes" award from the Freedom from Religion Foundation in 2011.
Coyne has served as President (2011) and Vice President (1996) of the Society for the Study of Evolution, and as Associate Editor of Evolution (1985–1988; 1994–2000) and The American Naturalist (1990–1993). He currently teaches evolutionary biology, speciation, genetic analysis, social issues and scientific knowledge, and scientific speaking and writing.
His work is widely published in scientific journals as well as in such mainstream venues as The New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, and The New Republic. His research interests include population and evolutionary genetics, speciation, ecological and quantitative genetics, chromosome evolution, and sperm competition.
Coyne is a critic of creationism including theistic evolution and intelligent design, which he calls "the latest pseudoscientific incarnation of religious creationism, cleverly crafted by a new group of enthusiasts to circumvent recent legal restrictions."
Coyne is an outspoken proponent of atheism, metaphysical naturalism, and the conflict thesis. He claims that religion and science are fundamentally incompatible, that only rational evaluation of evidence is capable of reliably discovering the world and the way it works, and that scientists who hold religious views are only reflective of the idea "that people can hold two conflicting notions in their heads at the same time". He has argued that the incompatibility of science and faith is based on irreconcilable differences in methodology, philosophy, and outcomes when they try to discern truths about the universe.
As well as evolution-related topics, his blog, Why Evolution Is True, discusses atheism, the incompatibility of science and religion, science, and other topics. He has frequently participated in public debates with theists.
Noteworthy scientific papers
- Coyne, JA. 2012. Science, Religion and Society: The Problem of Religion in America. Evolution doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01664.x
- Matute, D.R., I.A. Butler, D.A. Turossini, and J.A. Coyne. 2010. A test of the snowball theory for the rate of evolution of hybrid incompatibilities. Science 329 1518-1521. doi:10.1126/science.1193440
- Llopart, A., S. Elwyn and J.A. Coyne. 2002. Pigmentation and mate choice in Drosophila melanogaster. Nature 419: 360. doi:10.1038/419360a
- Greenberg, A.J., J.R. Moran, J.A. Coyne and C-I. Wu. 2003. Ecological adaptation during incipient speciation revealed by precise gene replacement. Science 302: 1754-1757. doi:10.1126/science.1090432
- Coyne, J. A., A. P. Crittenden, and K. Mah. 1994. Genetics of a pheromonal difference contributing to reproductive isolation in Drosophila. Science 265:1461-1464. doi:10.1126/science.8073292
- Price, C.S.C., K. A. Dyer, and J. A. Coyne. 1999. Sperm competition between Drosophila males involves both displacement and incapacitation. Nature 400:449-452 doi:10.1038/22755
- Coyne, J. A. 1992. Genetics and speciation. Nature 355:511-515. doi:10.1038/355511a0
- Coyne, Jerry A.; H. Allen Orr (2004-06-30). Speciation. Sinauer Associates Inc., Sunderland, Mass. ISBN 0-87893-089-2.
- Coyne, Jerry A. (2009-01-22). Why Evolution is True. Viking, New York (USA); Oxford University Press, Oxford (UK). ISBN 0-19-923084-6. OCLC 233549529.
- "The faith that dares not speak its name: The Case Against Intelligent Design.", The New Republic
- "Ann Coulter and Charles Darwin. Coultergeist.", The New Republic
- "Seeing and Believing: The never-ending attempt to reconcile science and religion, and why it is doomed to fail.", The New Republic
- The Great Mutator", The New Republic (Review of Michael Behe's The Edge of Evolution)
- Coyne, Jerry A. (2001). "Creationism by Stealth". Nature 410 (6830): 745–746. doi:10.1038/35071144.
- "A Letter to Charles Darwin" OUP Blog (celebrating the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth)
- Cat travel week: home again (lab cats) (Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, 2010-09-17)
- Why Evolution Is True blog note from Jerry Coyne
- "Jerry Coyne Profile". Edge. 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Coyne, Jerry (02.12.09). "Why Evolution Is True: Creationists don't deserve credence—especially from Forbes". Forbes magazine. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Does the empirical nature of science contradict the revelatory nature of faith? (2009, Edge.org),
- Alvin Plantinga: sophisticated theologian? (Why Evolution Is True, 2011-12-30)
- Coyne, Jerry (July 1, 2007). "The Faith that Dare Not Speak its Name". The New Republic. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
- Atelopus coynei, an eponymous frog (Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, 2009-08-20)
- Ceci n’est pas un blog, WhyEvolutionIsTrue, "Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email."
- Publications of Coyne's Vitae
- Why Evolution is True - Official website
- Faculty website at the University of Chicago
- 'Why Evolution Is True' by Jerry Coyne - one hour video at ExChristian.net
- "Speciation" list from Sinauer