Darwin's Island: The Galapagos in the Garden of England by Steve Jones

By Steve Jones

The beginning of Species is the main recognized e-book in technology yet its stature has a tendency to vague the genius of Charles Darwin's different works. The Beagle voyage, too, occupied basically 5 of the fifty years of his profession. He spent purely 5 weeks at the Galapagos and on his go back by no means left Britain back. Darwin wrote six million phrases, in nineteen books and innumerable letters, on subject matters as varied as canines, barnacles, insect-eating crops, orchids, earthworms, apes and human emotion. jointly, they laid the rules of contemporary biology.

In this superbly written, witty and illuminating e-book, Steve Jones explores the household Darwin, the sage of Kent, and brings his paintings modern. nice Britain used to be Charles Darwin's different island, its nation-state as a lot, or extra, a spot of discovery than have been the Galapagos. It strains the nice naturalist's moment trip throughout its modest panorama: a voyage no longer of the physique yet of the mind.

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Jones 2008 The right of Steve Jones to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

The geography of life, on islands, continents and mountains, is also evidence of the common descent of mushrooms, mice and men. Most of all, life’s diversity can be arranged into a series of groups arranged within groups, of ever-decreasing affinity, as a strong hint that they split apart from each other longer and longer ago. The Descent of Man uses that logic to disentangle the history of a single species. Unique as it might think itself, Homo sapiens is animal like all others. ’ In 1871 - and even in 1971 - the evidence for that final and provocative statement was weak indeed.

His Auto-Icon, as he called it, was an attempt at a memorial that would cost less than the showy shrines then fashionable. Bentham was convinced that his idea would catch on. Two centuries later, it did. James Watson - the surviving half of the duo who unwound the double helix - was presented with his own auto-icon, a compact disc of his entire DNA sequence, which he can, if he wishes, display for public edification in a small plastic case. Watson’s essence is coded into a tangled mass of intricate chemistry.

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