They are studying the evolutionary process not through the cryptic medium of fossils but in real time, in the wild, in the flesh. On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. Darwin's time in the Galápagos Islands and his resulting discoveries appear throughout, bursting some bubbles in the process. Anyway, I enjoyed it, but am not convinced it was Pulitzer Prize-worthy. In addition to the finches, the author goes on to discuss other theories that came out of this work. Not only a logical extrapolation of the fossil record and the selection imposed on pigeons and dogs by breeders, Darwinian evolution is in fact scientifically sound and much stronger a force than even its proponents realized.
In this dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research, Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself. That's an appropriate concept for this book, which unfurls before the reader an impressive array of late-20th-century scientific research into natural selection, sexual selection and speciation — all of it hammering home again and again: Not only was Darwin right, he was righter than he knew. The science in the middle of the book lost me for a few dozen pages, but the last one hundred tie everything together. If you are interested in the topic of speciation, this book especially beginning on page 162 and are must reads. Organisms tend to track generation by generation the conditions as they fall out.
Rather, it is a swift-moving current, a series of waves battering a coastline, and we — humans, other animals, plants —are pulled and pushed by the water moving in and out. Also, one of the most interesting ideas was the fact that when zooming-in on the evolutionary history, the transition is often jagged and goes back and forth on the same or different paths. It makes evolution and the scientific method easy to understand. You can write the whole substance of it on the back of an index card. But Darwin himself never saw evolution as Peter and Rosemary Grant have been seeing it - in the act of happening. There is something for everyone in this book even if the reader isn't all that interested in science or evolution prior to reading. The effect of the weather on the population size, behavior , size of beak and other parameters, clearly showed natural selection even in very few generations.
Weiner puts the microscope on enterobacteria in the human gut as they react to antibiotics, and he puts the lens on the Heliothis moth as it evolves to resist pesticides in the cotton fields. In the approximately 30 years that the Grant's and their various assistants have been watching, these tiny birds have shown a remarkable ability to quickly adapt to changes in the environment, climate, and other pressures that nature puts in their path. Though not the work's primary focus, ecology is discussed in several places. We explore the special circumstances that make the Galapagos archipelago a paradise for evolutionary research: an isolated population of birds that cannot easily fly away and mate with other populations, islands that are the tips of young volcanoes and thus still rapidly evolving as does the life that they support, a food supply changing radically in response to radical variations of climate - so that in a brief span of time the Grants can see the beak of the finch adapt. For among the finches of Daphne Major, natu Winner of the Pulitzer Prize Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory.
The finches that Darwin took from Galapagos at the time of his voyage on the Beagle led to his first veiled hints about his revolutionary theory. Did I say how thrilling it is? Vốn tính nhà khoa học chỉ chuyên tâm cống hiến cho sự nghiệp, nhưng cũng đến lúc giới thiệu cho mọi người nhiều hơn, các tiện nghi và thành tựu hiện nay có được phần nhiều là cho họ. This book ranks with McCullough's John Adams and Shirer's Let's start here: Someone really should invent a new word. We explore the special circumstances that make the Galapagos archipelago a paradise for evolutionary research: an isolated population of birds that cannot easily fly away and mate with other populations, islands that are the tips of young volcanoes and thus still rapidly evolving as does the life that they support, a food supply changing radically in response to radical variations of climate - so that in a brief span of time the Grants can see the beak of the finch adapt. We like to think that it happened a long time ago and long stretches of time are needed for its latest effects to surface. As the environment shifts around, the ideal target changes to, and the prevalence of those traits in members of the species changes in predictable ways to keep the species as close to the shifting target as possible.
On the Galapagos Islands Charles Darwin gave his first hint at his theory of natural selection, writing about the finches he studied there. You are somehow invested in believing something patently untrue. Like I and others have said — the book reads like a thriller. The Beak of the Finch is an elegantly written and compelling masterpiece of theory and explication in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould. As the book's title implies, Weiner focuses on Darwin's finches, the baker's dozen of Galapagos species whose beaks so aptly tell the tale of adaptation and selection. There he teaches science writing at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. It's far beyond theory status, as most people seem to use and understand the word.
Weiner's superb account reads like a thriller and won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. He lives in New York, where he teaches science writing at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. This was a really interesting look into the constant evolution of finches in the Galapagos. The book seems to lose some steam towards the end as the author tries to make some larger points. This work expands upon the two biographies I read recently about Charles Darwin and evolution. For more than twenty years they have been monitoring generation after generation of finches on the island of Daphne Major - measuring, weighing, observing, tracking, analyzing on computers their struggle for existence.
Lầy lội qua một cuốn sách. The size of the Galapagos finches' beaks ebbs and flows depending on the seeds that are available due to the amount of rain, and that's fascinating, but humans write books about this stuff so it's not like all species are evolved at the same rate. Don't pass up the chance to read this book. The science in the middle of the book lost me for a few dozen pages, but the last one hundred tie everything together. Lần này thì không thể đổ lỗi cho non-fiction là khó đọc : Đầu tiên là quá thán phục cặp vợ chồng Grant dành hết đời sống ở quần đảo trứ danh trong thuyết tuyến hóa, những nhà khoa học yêu nghề có rất nhiều trong sách nhắc đến hơn chục nhà , nhưng chẳng được nhắc mấy trong giới công chúng, mà toàn tràn ngập những nghệ sĩ nửa vời trên báo.
But in the end, Weiner can't seem to get onto the page whatever it is he wants to say about the perceived conflict between science and faith. The writing was also very good. They have continuously observed about twenty generations of finches. It's not just about finches, either; it's about all kinds of animals, and -- yay! At the same time, it's always seemed to me that humans have lived a particularly charmed evolutionary existence - walking upright, thumbs, language, brains that are far more developed that any other animal. Let's start here: Someone really should invent a new word. The E-mail message field is required.