Download Charles Darwin and the Evolution Revolution by Rebecca Stefoff PDF

By Rebecca Stefoff

At the starting place OF SPECIES, released in 1858, remodeled our view of the area and made Charles Darwin some of the most arguable figures in technology. This new biography appears to be like on the individual at the back of the talk whose earth-shaking discoveries and ideas stay as fascinating and fascinating as contemporary headlines. forty seven pictures.

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Browne declared that this was nonsense. Humans and animals, he argued, had the same kinds of muscles—a most heretical, radical notion. Darwin’s contribution to science must be viewed against the background of the great struggle of ideas that was raging in the scientific world as he came of age. Darwin was deeply troubled by the conflict between old and new ideas; he held back from making his ideas public, even when he was convinced that they were sound, because he knew that they would cause an uproar and he hated to be the center of controversy.

If they were perfect, why did they disappear? And what about the new kinds of plants and animals that explorers were finding in Africa, Australia, and the Americas? These were not mentioned in the Bible. Had God performed a separate act of creation for each continent? A few scholars, seeing how easily farmers and stock breeders created new varieties of fruit, flowers, and poultry, realized that species were fluid and changeable, not fixed and unchanging. Darwin’s own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, had this insight.

Gazing around him in rapture, he felt like a blind man who had just been given sight. The profusion of life in the rain forest was dazzling: one day Darwin captured 68 beetle species, and on another occasion he shot 80 different species of birds in the course of a morning walk. He witnessed the terrifying march of a horde of ravening army ants that devoured everything in its path; he experimented to see whether tree frogs could walk up panes of glass; he measured the trunks of colossal trees. His attention darted from parrots to palms to beetles to orchids.

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