No idea was more important in shaping modern biological science than Charles Darwin’s concept of evolution through natural selection, as explained in his famous book, The Origin of Species (1859).
This Start-to-Finish book takes a biographical approach to explain how theories of evolution arose in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Playfully, but with historical fidelity, the story of Charles Darwin’s life is told with plenty of dialogue from the perspective of the “angels” of his two deceased, illustrious grandfathers: Josiah Wedgwood, the inventor of Wedgwood china, and Dr. Erasmus Darwin, an eminent eighteenth-century scientist and inventor who had published his own evolutionary views.
The book describes Charles Darwin’s early passion for natural history, his famous South American voyage on the Royal Navy survey ship the HMS Beagle, and his later years of stubborn research and startling discovery. The book places Darwin’s thinking in the context of its time and in the context of other contemporary theories, such as the biblical story of creation. It shows how modern geology and Darwin’s theory of natural selection ultimately replaced these other ideas as scientific answers to the question of why the earth’s surface looks as it does, and why it is populated by an evolving tree of myriad life forms.
Students who have already read the Start-to-Finish Gold Library science book Liddy and the Volcanoes may particularly enjoy this book.
Author: Alan Venable
Guided Reading Level: S
Lexile Level: 810