Pdf/E–book [Evolution The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory] Á Edward J. Larson
A history of the development and reactions to evolutionary theory from the 18th century to modern synthesis and American culture reactions to evolutionary theory from the 18th century to modern synthesis and American culture over the subject Straight forward history on a topic that has enerated a lot of cultural conflict in the west especially very much in religion and politics it is one of those scientific ideas that can t be let alone by the culture because it speaks to our origins and nature Of course it is The Dressmakers Gift going toenerate contentious conflict with people who have a stake in it From social Darwinists eugenicists nazis and fundamentalists many dangerous forces swirl around Evolution Also ives a history of the mainstream development of evolutionary theory in the sciences A sweeping history of the development of the theory and the personalities involved from Cuvier and his outstanding cranium to the cranky competitiveness of James Watson One of my favorite anecdotes is of the eccentric English theologian and proponent of theistic evolution William Buckland of whom Larson writes Buckland was a thoroughly rational Christian When encountering an alleged miracle of martyr s blood perpetually wetting the floor of a Roman Catholic cathedral he tested the hypothesis by licking the spot with his tongue Bat urine the Anglican cleric pronouncedLarson presents a layman s introduction to the theory with just enough detail to reuire some effort but not enough to shoo away dilettantes like myself More recent developments in enetics and the modern synthesis Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria get a bit technical but not excessively so The book does what allood history of science books do it inspires the reader to learn I had first heard of this book while reading another book How I Changed My Mind about Evolution This book dealt with the testimonies of Christian scientists and theologians who had come to accept evolution as a theory with reat explanatory power in the area of the diversity of life all the while being demonstrably consistent with theologically orthdox interpretations of the BibleAs one can ascertain from the subtitle of the book it is a history dealing with the origins and development of the theory of evolution It is precisely at this level that I would share my one potential criticism of the book What I mean is that the vast majority of the book deals with the one hundred year period between the year 1859 when Darwin s book On the Origin of Species was published and 1959 with scant references to people who espoused primitive theories of evolution prior to Darwin s book On top of this the modern era is really only addressed in the last two chapters with what seemed to me to be very little on the progress of the various mechanisms put forth under the umbrella term of evolutionThat being said one of the first things I enjoyed about the book continues from this last point in the preceding paragraph As an Evangelical Christian I have spent much of my time being inundated with Creationist definitions of evolution After reading this book one of the big points that has been driven home to me is that there is no one single consensus on how evolution works There is amongst scientists whether Christian or secular a consensus as to the reality of evolutions existence in nature yet the actual mechanics which drive it are debated to this day So what I have been exposed to is the reality that the one definition of evolution I have spent much of my life being indoctrinated with is truly closer to a straw man than reality in its essenceEven though that is the case another thing I found interesting and informative was the philosophical dangers present in the theory
of evolution The promotion of various race theories eugenics and social Darwinism as of the evolution The promotion of various race theories eugenics and social Darwinism as some of the philosophical beliefs and practices of some evolutionary adherents is a sobering reality to which we must be alerted it is also something we must be willing to apprise without bias so that we may be able to fully appreciate the potential dangers of the evolutionary worldviewEven with that I found the book was fair in presenting the reality that numerous scientists throughout the development of evolutionary thinking. “I often said before starting that I had no doubt I should freuently repent of the whole undertaking” So wrote Charles Darwin aboard The Beagle bound for the Galapagos Islands and what would arguably become the reatest and most controversial discovery in scientific history But the theory of evolution did not spring full blown from the head of Darwin Since the dawn of humanity priests philosophers and scientists have debated the origin and development of life on earth and with modern science that debate shifted into high earIn this lively deeply erudite work Pulitzer Prize–winning science historian Edward J Larson takes us on a uided tour of Darwin’s “dangerous idea” from its theoretical antecedents in the early nineteenth century to the brilliant breakthroughs of Darwin and Wallace to Watson and Crick’s stunning disco. .
Edward J. Larson Ü 8 free readInherited as in Lamarck s proposals How did speciation occurLarson discusses the work of Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace who are rivals for the title of the father of evolution Each was Wallace who are rivals for the title of the father of evolution Each was to similar conclusions about natural selection and were even in touch with each other and jointly published a paper on natural selection But it was Darwin s book On the Origin of the Species that captured public attention and led to the primary association of his name with the theoryThe book also traces the history both of subseuent key findings particularly in Mendelian If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai: A Conducted Tour of India genetics and the critical work of Watson and Crick as well as some of the darker sides of Darwinism in social Darwinism and eugenics trials culminating in theenocide of the Holocaust While not laying these developments at the feet of the theory one does see in this history the darker tendency of humans to help natural selection along and sometimes at any costLarson also ives an even handed overview of the anti evolution controversies both of the Scopes trial era and recent efforts He profiles the principle opponents of evolution and their ideas as well as the problematic elements in what they propose He also chronicles recent controversies within the scientific communities around sociobiology as well as punctuated euilibrium that calls into uestion radualist accumulations of adaptive traitsWhat Larson does is offer us a The Monk as Man: The Unknown Life of Swami Vivekananda good history that seeks to be even handed and not polemical in explaining the rise of evolution as a theory as well as the objections raised as well as why they have notained traction with the wider scientific community Without wading deep into either science or theology he offers clear explanations of each and thus helps us understand the history of one of the most important ideas in the last two centuries A The Tomb of Iuchiban great piece of both history and science writing for aeneral audience This books provides a nice overview of the history of biological science over the past 200 years with a focus on enetic science as it transitioned from philosophical speculation to evidence based science What I found interesting and entertaining was how various opposing theories of the mechanisms of enetic inheritance were Advanced First Aid, CPR, and AED (Orange Book) gradually synthesized over the decades Some of those who dedicated their lives to oppose other s theories never knew that beyond their lifetimes their theories were synthesized with their opponents Everyone eventually was right in some way and sometimes wrong in other ways The book is a bit outdated already due to rapid ongoing discoveries in this field For example findings of recentenetic studies related to Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow gene switches show that Darwin s basic ideas aboutenetic changes to DNA occurring during the lifetime of an organism were not completely wrong as they were thought to be for a long timeAs much as I enjoyed this book due to my limited brain capacity to remember details these days I found the following eyewitness book to be in some ways a better summary that was easier to follow
And Remember The Key Eventsremember the key events it has pictures I recommend the eyewitness as a coles notes version of the subject Many books have traced the development of evolutionary ideas from the early stirrings in the late eighteenth century through the triumphal breakthrough of Darwinism This book does that and so much It continues through the scientific skepticism enerated by developments in enetics paleontology and statistics during the following century that led eventually to the mid twentieth century Neo Darwinian synthesis that established evolution at the center of all biology Along the way Larson sympathetically recounts the non scientific resistance to Darwinism the pseudo scientific eugenics movement and the late twentieth century fundamentalist resistance to Godless science Brief descriptions of the major personalities add spice to the narrative but the focus remains on the scientific discoveries and theories and the scientific and non scientific responses to these ideas A must read for anybody that will be studying evolution And worth reading over again It s a ood book for fast review of evolutio. Larson trains his spotlight on the lives and careers of the scientists explorers and eccentrics whose collaborations and competitions have driven the theory of evolution forward Here are portraits of Cuvier Lamarck Darwin Wallace Haeckel Galton Huxley Mendel Morgan Fisher Dobzhansky Watson and Crick W D Hamilton E O Wilson and many others Celebrated as one of mankind’s crowning scientific achievements and reviled as a threat to our deepest values the theory of evolution has utterly transformed our view of life religion origins and the theory itself and remains controversial especially in the United States where 90% of adults do not subscribe to the full Darwinian vision Replete with fresh material and new insights Evolution will educate and inform while taking readers on a fascinating journey of discovery From the Hardcover edition. Maintained faith in a Creator with many remaining devout Christians It is precisely here that we see the real danger is not in the theory of evolution itself but rather is precisely here that we see the real danger is not in the theory of evolution itself but rather is in the individuals who choose to use the theory to promote thoroughly materialistic views on origins I was pleasantly surprised to see the book speak to this reality and express viewpoints from both sides Especially since this is a popular rather than Christian bookI enjoyed the brief limpses we are iven into the lives of the various individuals and events which were reat turning points in the development of evolutionary theory as it progressed from something based on rather crude interpretations based on simple observations made in nature such as Darwin s finches to the underlying biological realities mankind has discovered in his Mi karma y yo growing understanding ofenetics In the last chapter we are briefly introduced to Francis Collins author of The Language of God head of the human enome project and founder of the organization Biologos He is one of the scientists I mentioned who is an example of how religious and scientific thinking can be reconciled Mr Collins and the organization he founded are responsible for helping me to see that these are things which need not stand in opposition to each other but which can harmonize and inform each other so that we have a much deeper in opposition to each other but which can harmonize and inform each other so that we have a much deeper beautiful picture of origins I felt that along these lines this book likewise presented an unbiased view of the development of the theory of evolution and the individuals utilized in its developmentThinking back on my earlier critiue I must confess that I am not well read on evolution Because of this I was looking for a book that would be a suitable introduction to this area of science and in this vein I do believe that this book accomplished that seeing as it
Presented What I Believe Iswhat I believe is concise readable and easily rasped rudimentary introduction to the history of evolutionary theory With this in mind I would recommend it to others who are looking for a book that will fill that niche The author has included copious footnotes as well as a section at the end of the book dedicated to facilitating further reading for those interested in pursuing deeper understanding in this area This is a reasonably concise history of evolutionary biology that doesn t skimp on detail As a history of science for The Prime Minister of Paradise general audiences bookoes it s Charlie O. and the angry A's good but not CHAOS MAKING A NEW SCIENCEreat however it s valuable in demonstrating that evolution was not dogma in the biological sciences for uite some time And far from being a black mark against evolution this is rather evolution proving itself over and over again as and threads of natural science are woven together35 stars rounded up to 4 What a fantastic read Pick this up and be amazed Summary A history of the development of evolutionary theory including both the antecedents to Darwin and Russell and the extension of this theory the controversies both past and present that it provoked and the The Sisters of Sinai genetic discoveries that have further revealed the theory s mechanismsThe theory of evolution is perhaps one of the most contested of scientific battlegrounds both in terms of internal debates about aspects of the theory and the conflict particularly in the US around this theory and at least some branches of Christian belief What Edward J Larsonives us here is not a scientific or theological treatise but rather a highly readable history that explains both key developments even those preceding Darwin and the controversies that resulted down to the time of publication 2004The tale begins with studies of both biological specimens and fossil finds by figures such as Cuvier and Lamarck that suggest both a reat antiuity for life on earth that stretches the bounds of creation accounts in the Bible as they were understood and also suggests both continuities and discontinuities between species in a kind of tree of life Scientists before Darwin as well as other thinkers thought in terms of some form of evolution but could not understand how one species developed from another Were adaptive characteristics. Very of the DNA double helix and to the triumphant neo Darwinian synthesis and rising sociobiology todayAlong the way Larson expertly places the scientific upheaval of evolution in cultural perspective the social and philosophical earthuake that was the French Revolution; the development in England of a laissez faire capitalism in tune with a Darwinian ethos of “survival of the fittest”; the emergence of Social Darwinism and the dark science of eugenics against a backdrop of industrial revolution; the American Christian backlash against evolutionism that culminated in the famous Scopes trial; and on to today’s world where religious fundamentalists litigate for the right to teach “creation science” alongside evolution in US public schools even as the theory itself continues to evolve in new and surprising directionsThroughout.