Auction: Multiply-Signed Copy of Why Evolution Is True

Here is a belated but very welcome spinoff of our Moving Naturalism Forward workshop from 2012: Jerry Coyne was clever enough to bring along a copy of his book, Why Evolution Is True, and have all the participants sign it. He subsequently gathered a few more distinguished autographs, and to make it just a bit more beautiful, artist Kelly Houle added some original illustrations. Jerry is now auctioning off the book to benefit Doctors Without Borders. Check it out:



Here is the list of signatories:

  • Dan Barker
  • Sean Carroll
  • Jerry Coyne
  • Richard Dawkins
  • Terrence Deacon
  • Simon DeDeo
  • Daniel Dennett
  • Owen Flanagan
  • Anna Laurie Gaylor
  • Rebecca Goldstein
  • Ben Goren
  • Kelly Houle
  • Lawrence Krauss
  • Janna Levin
  • Jennifer Ouellette
  • Massimo Pigliucci
  • Steven Pinker
  • Carolyn Porco
  • Nicholas Pritzker
  • Alex Rosenberg
  • Don Ross
  • Steven Weinberg

Jerry is hoping it will fetch a good price to benefit the charity, so we’re spreading the word. I notice that a baseball signed by Mickey Mantle goes for about $2000. In my opinion a book signed by Steven Weinberg alone should go for even more, so just imagine what this is worth. You have ten days to get your bids in — and if it’s a bit pricey for you personally, I’m sure there’s someone who loves you enough to buy it for you.

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38 Responses to Auction: Multiply-Signed Copy of Why Evolution Is True

  1. physics fan says:

    And pardon me for asking about the efficiency and reliability of this charity to people who probably know more than me, as opposed to asking the interwebs, which might spew back untrustworthy information.

  2. Zetopan says:

    When the starting bid price was under $1K James Gallagher claimed:
    “Nobody’s gonna[sic] bid much for this, because it’s just scientifically minded people[sic].
    Scientists are mostly boring to the public, certainly not worthy of large monetary payments for their signatures, even personal documents, don’t embarrass them and yourself with public auctions, please.”

    Thus far several “nobodies” have bid on this book and it is now above $5K. Gallagher was obviously terribly incorrect in his prognostication even befored $5K was reached so he decided to redefine “much” to be >$10,000. This is an intellectually dishonest activity known as moving the goalposts.
    Apparently unwilling to be outdone in the failed prognostication business, Adam H. has proffered “I’m going to be straight honest as any respecting person in pursuit of scientific truth should be: the book signed by all these people is not worth $60 and never will be.” Oops.

  3. Nathan says:

    Maybe some of that money should go to a defamation fund for those unfairly maligned by Jerry Coyne as “vile anti-Semites”. Or a golden Buddha for Owen Flanagan. Take your pick.

  4. Simon DeDeo says:

    I vote for a golden Buddha modeled after Owen Flanagan.

  5. James Gallagher says:


    $10,000 is not much these days, are there no scientific enthusiasts in Banking who just received 10 times that in a bonus not willing to bid? What about the Milner prize winners, they have literally millions?

    It’s a shame that scientists are so under-valued by the public compared to artists (for example)

    The signed book doesn’t have resale value, that’s why, any bid is essentially just a donation to charity.

  6. Jerry Coyne says:

    For all the doubters, nay-sayers, and people who were hoping that the book (whose proceeds all go to a good charity, by the way) wouldn’t sell for very much, you can eat crow. It just sold for $10,357.97. “Physics Fan” and “James Gallagher,” you should just admit that you were wrong, and be glad that Doctors Without Borders got so much money.

    Somehow, however, I don’t think you will . . .

  7. James Gallagher says:


    Not too bad.

    I was wrong (unless it’s revealed that Bono bought it, that won’t count 😉 )

    (I was being a little mischievous with my sarcastic comments above – it is of course a wonderful item, and a great book even without the signatures and artwork )

  8. Zetopan says:

    “if this goes for over $10,000 I’ll admit I was wrong, I know it won’t though, so stop bugging me.”
    I am anxiously awaiting James Gallagher’s mathematical proof that $10,357.97 is actually less than $10,000. Also note that Gallagher’s method of “knowing” is not distinguishable from a WAG.

  9. bostontola says:

    Congratulations to the high bidder, and to Doctors without Borders, win-win.

  10. physics fan says:

    Jerry Coyne,

    My comment about the book not going over 4060 was just a joke, as I said above. You see, at the time, the book was sitting at around 4050 with several days remaining. It was a joke guarantee in response to the other (serious) guarantees. Cheers.

  11. physics fan says:

    I’m very impressed with the turn out! Over $10000, wow! That tells you how much the signatures of Weinberg and Dawkins, together, are worth, because let’s face it, the others were nobodies.

  12. Clive says:

    You calling our man Sean a “nobody”?

  13. Ben Goren says:

    physics fan will likely dismiss that as a joke, which just demonstrates a very strange sense of humor, highly negatively charged, and completely lacking in beauty, charm, or truth. And rather dense, to boot.