Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? Freethought of the Day is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

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There are 1 entries for this date: Jerry Coyne
Jerry Coyne

Jerry Coyne

On this date in 1949, Jerry Allen Coyne was born. He received his B.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary in 1971 and his Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Harvard University in 1978. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California-Davis, then became an assistant professor at the University of Maryland. Since 1996 to 2015, when he retired, he was a professor in the department of evolution and ecology at the University of Chicago.

Coyne taught classes on evolution, including the evidence for it. Coyne has written over 100 scholarly papers and a 2004 book, Speciation (with H. Allen Orr). His 2009 book Why Evolution is True was widely praised as a clear, concise and convincing explanation of the theory of evolution. His book Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible was published in 2015.

Coyne also regularly writes for popular periodicals, including The New Republic. His blog Why Evolution is True is frequently updated with posts on science, daily life and freethought issues. He was the 2011 recipient of FFRF's Emperor Has No Clothes Award. Coyne has been a guest on Freethought Radio several times and in 2013 worked with FFRF to stop a Ball State University professor from teaching creationism.

“As the years went on I gradually transmogrified from being an evolutionary biologist to an evolutionary biologist atheist and now I'm more of an atheist than an evolutionary biologist. I realized that creationism, the opposition to evolution, is the least of our worries that religion promulgates, compared to someone throwing acid in the face of a schoolgirl in Afghanistan.”

—Coyne, Emperor Has No Clothes Award acceptance speech (October 2011)

Compiled by Eleanor Wroblewski; photo courtesy of Jerry Coyne

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