Books: Darwin, edited by Philip Appleman

This is both a history of evolution and a biography of Darwin. It discusses the impact of his work on Western Civilization. Scientific developments that were influenced by Darwinian thought include:

  • Konrad Lorenz on ethology (animal behaviour and its origins),
  • Margaret Mead on evolution,
  • Jane Goodall on primate research,
  • Edward O. Wilson on sociobiology,
  • Richard Leakey on paleontology, and
  • Nicholas Wade on recombinant DNA research

This book has exerpts from the writings of pre-Darwinian scientists such as Sir Joseph Hooker and Sir Charles Lyell; exerpts from the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man; various debates showing how Darwin influenced science, philosophy, theology, society, and literature. There’s an epilogue by the editor, Philip Appleman.

It’s in my To Be Read pile.

Norton Critical Edition, 2nd edition, 1970.
370 pages plus index.


Blogging the Origin

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

One science blogger has read Darwin’s The Origin of Species and reviewed each chapter. Follow the link for an introduction to Darwin’s logic.

On this day in evolutionary history

It’s July 20th:

  • On this date in 1804, Richard Owen was born in Lancaster, England.
  • On this date in 1817, the eight-year-old Charles Darwin attended his mother’s funeral.
  • On this date in 1858, while staying at The King’s Head Hotel in Sandown on the Isle of Wight, Darwin began an ‘abstract’ of his planned major work on evolution—this abstract was to become On the Origin of Species.
For more about Charles Darwin and the history of evolutionary thought, visit The Friends of Charles Darwin.

Darwin’s tomatoes

S. F. Matheson at Quintessence of Dust has an interesting article, blogging on peer-reviewed research, about Charles Darwin’s work with tomatoes and their genetic or phenotypical variability.

Left: our familiar tomato. Right: Galapagos tomato

domestic tomato vs. Galapagos tomato leaves

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