Darwin Deleted: Imagining a World without Darwin

Darwin deleted : imagining a world without Darwin
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See more. Darwin's Pictures: Views of Evolutionary Theory, Julia Voss. In this first-ever examination of Charles Darwin's sketches, drawings, and illustrations, Julia Voss presents the history of evolutionary theory told in pictures. Darwin had a life-long interest in pictorial representations of nature, sketching out his evolutionary theory and related ideas for over forty years. Voss details the pictorial history of Darwin's theory of evolution, starting with his notebook sketches of and ending with the illustrations in "The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals" These images were profoundly significant for Darwin's long-term argument for evolutionary theory; each characterizes a different aspect of his relationship with the visual information and constitutes what can be called an "icon" of evolution.

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Voss shows how Darwin "thought with his eyes" and how his pictorial representations and the development and popularization of the theory of evolution were vitally interconnected. Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea. Carl Zimmer. This remarkable book presents a rich and up—to—date view of evolution that explores the far—reaching implications of Darwin's theory and emphasizes the power, significance, and relevance of evolution to our lives today.

After all, we ourselves are the product of evolution, and we can tackle many of our gravest challenges —— from lethal resurgence of antiobiotic—resistant diseases to the wave of extinctions that looms before us —— with a sound understanding of the science. Robert J.

Did Darwin see evolution as progressive, directed toward producing ever more advanced forms of life? Most contemporary scholars say no. In this challenge to prevailing views, Robert J.

Richards says yes—and argues that current perspectives on Darwin and his theory are both ideologically motivated and scientifically unsound. This provocative new reading of Darwin goes directly to the origins of evolutionary theory. Unlike most contemporary biologists or historians and philosophers of science, Richards holds that Darwin did concern himself with the idea of progress, or telos, as he constructed his theory.

Richards maintains that Darwin drew on the traditional embryological meanings of the terms "evolution" and "descent with modification. By the early s, however, the idea of preformation had become the concept of evolutionary recapitulation, the idea that during its development an embryo passes through a series of stages, each the adult form of an ancestor species. Richards demonstrates that, for Darwin, embryological recapitulation provided a graphic model of how species evolve.

If an embryo could be seen as successively taking the structures and forms of its ancestral species, then one could see the evolution of life itself as a succession of species, each transformed from its ancestor. Richards works with the Origin and other published and archival material to show that these embryological models were much on Darwin's mind as he considered the evidence for descent with modification.

Why do so many modern researchers find these embryological roots of Darwin's theory so problematic? Richards argues that the current tendency to see evolution as a process that is not progressive and not teleological imposes perspectives on Darwin that incorrectly deny the clearly progressive heart of his embryological models and his evolutionary theory. Book 4. It brings together the work and ideas of historians, philosophers, biologists, and social scientists, uniting a range of new perspectives, methods, and frameworks for examining and understanding the ways that organisms and environments interact.

Iain McCalman. Similar ebooks. Wells to Isaac Asimov. In this wide-ranging survey, Peter J. Bowler explores the phenomenon of futurology: predictions about the future development and impact of science and technology on society and culture in the twentieth century. Utilising science fiction, popular science literature and the novels of the literary elite, Bowler highlights contested responses to the potential for revolutionary social change brought about by real and imagined scientific innovations.

Charting the effect of social and military developments on attitudes towards innovation in Europe and America, Bowler shows how conflict between the enthusiasm of technocrats and the pessimism of their critics was presented to the public in books, magazines and exhibitions, and on the radio and television.

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A series of case studies reveals the impact of technologies such as radio, aviation, space exploration and genetics, exploring rivalries between innovators and the often unexpected outcome of their efforts to produce mechanisms and machines that could change the world. Ilkka Hanski. From a small island in the Baltic Sea to the large tropical islands of Borneo and Madagascar, Messages from Islands is a global tour of these natural, water-bound laboratories. In this career-spanning work, Ilkka Hanski draws upon the many islands on which he performed fieldwork to convey key themes in ecology.

Beginning each chapter on a particular island, Hanski dives into reflections on his own field studies before going on to pursue a variety of ecological questions, including: What is the biodiversity crisis? What are extinction thresholds and extinction debts? What can the biodiversity hypothesis tell us about rapidly increasing allergies, asthma, and other chronic inflammatory disorders?

When we think of evolution, we think of Darwin.

Darwin deleted: imagining a world without Darwin - Dimensions

All other evolutionary theories have been swept under the carpet of history. Few mourned it. Only a handful of scientists believed natural selection to be the driving force of evolution. Not until the s and s, with the rise of genetics, was Darwin vindicated. In the broader cultural sphere the burial of Darwin in Westminster Abbey masked a brewing controversy that affected the traditionally close connections between science and religion.

Until the 19th century there were few alternatives to biblical explanations for the origin of species. The newly recognized depth of geological time combined with the discovery of an ever-increasing variety of fossils turned the origin and development of life into a scientific question.

Naturalists, taxonomists, comparative anatomists, paleontologists, and biologists responded with a bewildering variety of theories to explain how new species might arise.

Darwin Deleted: Imagining a World without Darwin

Bowler lays out these theories in detail, but they can be roughly categorized as driven by either internal biological forces or external environmental ones. Darwin was not the only one to champion the environment as the driver for species change: so did Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Alfred Russel Wallace.

The Many Myths Surrounding Charles Darwin

In the 19th century many in Britain and the United States were accustomed to finding parallels between social and scientific laws. Just as the stars were governed by universal laws, so too were societies. Built into the laws governing stars and societies was the 19th-century concept of progressive development.

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People were primed to find progress wherever they looked. Evolution was no exception. Even such a friend and strong supporter of Darwin as biologist Thomas Henry Huxley did not believe that natural selection acting on individual variations could be the major driver of evolution. Many Victorians, even religious ones, were willing to accept evolution, as long as it could be linked to quintessentially Victorian ideas of improvement.

Natural selection offered only randomness and chance. And without a believable mechanism of inheritance later provided by genetics , how could natural selection actually work? Scientists instead focused on making sense of the fossil record, where many read into the record a physical progress that matched their understandings of social progress. Huxley used them to fight religious influence on science as part of a battle for cultural authority between a professionalizing science and the clergy, some of whom were themselves scientists.

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Just as the fossil record of life showed some species going nowhere, to many late-Victorian eyes the human record appeared to show some groups stagnating or even degenerating. What happens when scientific ideas influence how people think about themselves and others?