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Which Darwin book (and today edition) is illustrated by his own drawings?

Which Darwin book (and today edition) is illustrated by his own drawings?



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I am interested in buying Charles Darwin books and mostly drawings (nowadays editions, I am not a collector). Please, can you advise in which book and which edition I can find the most of his drawings? I found some books as On the Origin of Species ad the Geology of The Voyage of The Beagle but I am not sure if there are his drawings too. I am a student so I couldn't spend too much money on it, but I was interested in his texts and drawings, supporting each other in one book/journal/publication. Thank you !


I believe that there is only one drawing in the first edition of On the Origin of Species, and it is Darwin's. Any good edition such as the fascimile edition with an introduction by Ernst Mayr, will include this drawing. I'm not sure about other editions of the Origin or other books of Darwin's. However, maybe you don't need to buy anything. Darwin Online is a wonderful collection that includes many (all?) of Darwin's writings over the years, including images of many of them; the drawings are no doubt included.

It's possible that the History of Science and Mathematics StackExchange site would be a better place for this question.


DARWIN, Charles.

Charles Darwin (1809&ndash1882) is the most significant proponent of the theory of evolution by natural selection. As a young man Darwin&rsquos first position was naturalist aboard The Beagle during a circumnavigation spanning the years 1831&ndash36. He took full advantage of the voyage, making important observations that would lead him to the theory of natural selection.

Stock Code: 130580

Second edition, including on pp. 166-204 Charles Darwin's article, "Geology". In the first issue, Darwin's article had several errors corrected with a 20-page cancel inserted in a pocket inside the rear board. The second issue has the corrections made within the text.

"This useful book. went through six editions, remaining in print until 1906. Learn More

Stock Code: 142129

First edition of "the most influential scientific work of the 19th century" (Horblit) and "certainly the most important biological book ever written" (Freeman), in which Darwin explained his concept of evolutionary adaptation through natural selection, which would become the foundation of modern evolutionary theory 1,250 copies were printed.

Stock Code: 146564

Stock Code: 147512

An unpublished fully autograph letter signed from Darwin to Sir Henry Holland, thanking him for congratulations on his receipt of the Copley medal, discussing Herbert Spencer's new work and his own health and commenting on Holland's travel and adventures ("How wonderful your strength & vigour of interest are: I had heard of your Gibraltar expedition").

Stock Code: 142404

Stock Code: 113772

Stock Code: 117907

[Down, Beckenham] : 5 May 1873

Stock Code: 146643

Stock Code: 127700

Stock Code: 120375

Down, Beckenham : [shortly after 27 November 1878]

Darwin writes to thank his colleague and regular correspondent William Ogle (18271912) for his English translation of Anton Kerner's Die Schutzmittel der Bluthen gegen unberufene Gaste (The protective measures of flowers against uninvited guests, 1876), which appeared as Flowers and Their Unbidden Guests (Ogle trans. 1878).


Contents

During the survey voyage of HMS Beagle, Darwin was unaware of the significance of the birds of the Galápagos. He had learned how to preserve bird specimens from John Edmonstone while at the University of Edinburgh and had been keen on shooting, but he had no expertise in ornithology and by this stage of the voyage concentrated mainly on geology. [9] In Galápagos he mostly left bird shooting to his servant Syms Covington. [10] Nonetheless, these birds were to play an important part in the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.

On the Galápagos Islands and afterward, Darwin thought in terms of "centres of creation" and rejected ideas concerning the transmutation of species. [11] From Henslow's teaching, he was interested in the geographical distribution of species, particularly links between species on oceanic islands and on nearby continents. On Chatham Island, he recorded that a mockingbird was similar to those he had seen in Chile, and after finding a different one on Charles Island he carefully noted where mockingbirds had been caught. [9] In contrast, he paid little attention to the finches. When examining his specimens on the way to Tahiti, Darwin noted that all of the mockingbirds on Charles Island were of one species, those from Albemarle of another, and those from James and Chatham Islands of a third. As they sailed home about nine months later, this, together with other facts, including what he had heard about Galápagos tortoises, made him wonder about the stability of species. [12] [13]

  1. Geospiza magnirostris
  2. Geospiza parvula
  3. Certhidea olivacea
  4. Geospiza fortis

Following his return from the voyage Darwin presented the finches to the Zoological Society of London on 4 January 1837, along with other mammal and bird specimens that he had collected. The bird specimens, including the finches, were given to John Gould, the famous English ornithologist, for identification. Gould set aside his paying work and at the next meeting, on 10 January, reported that the birds from the Galápagos Islands that Darwin had thought were blackbirds, "gross-beaks" and finches were actually "a series of ground Finches which are so peculiar [as to form] an entirely new group, containing 12 species." This story made the newspapers. [14] [15]

Darwin had been in Cambridge at that time. In early March, he met Gould again and for the first time to get a full report on the findings, including the point that his Galápagos "wren" was another closely allied species of finch. The mockingbirds that Darwin had labelled by island were separate species rather than just varieties. Gould found more species than Darwin had expected, [16] and concluded that 25 of the 26 land birds were new and distinct forms, found nowhere else in the world but closely allied to those found on the South American continent. [15] Darwin now saw that, if the finch species were confined to individual islands, like the mockingbirds, this would help to account for the number of species on the islands, and he sought information from others on the expedition. Specimens had also been collected by Captain Robert FitzRoy, FitzRoy's steward Harry Fuller, and Darwin's servant Covington, who had labelled them by island. [17] From these, Darwin tried to reconstruct the locations from where he had collected his own specimens. The conclusions supported his idea of the transmutation of species. [15]

Text from The Voyage of the Beagle Edit

At the time that he rewrote his diary for publication as Journal and Remarks (later The Voyage of the Beagle), he described Gould's findings on the number of birds, noting that "Although the species are thus peculiar to the archipelago, yet nearly all in their general structure, habits, colour of feathers, and even tone of voice, are strictly American". [18] In the first edition of The Voyage of the Beagle, Darwin said that

It is very remarkable that a nearly perfect gradation of structure in this one group can be traced in the form of the beak, from one exceeding in dimensions that of the largest gros-beak, to another differing but little from that of a warbler". [19]

By the time the first edition was published, the development of Darwin's theory of natural selection was in progress. For the 1845 second edition of The Voyage (now titled Journal of Researches), Darwin added more detail about the beaks of the birds, and two closing sentences which reflected his changed ideas:

Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends." [20] [21]

The remaining land-birds form a most singular group of finches, related to each other in the structure of their beaks, short tails, form of body and plumage: There are thirteen species, which Mr. Gould has divided into four subgroups. All these species are peculiar to this archipelago and so is the whole group, with the exception of one species of the sub-group Cactornis, lately brought from Bow Island, in the Low Archipelago. Of Cactornis, the two species may be often seen climbing about the flowers of the great cactus-trees but all the other species of this group of finches, mingled together in flocks, feed on the dry and sterile ground of the lower districts. The males of all, or certainly of the greater number, are jet black and the females (with perhaps one or two exceptions) are brown. The most curious fact is the perfect gradation in the size of the beaks in the different species of Geospiza, from one as large as that of a hawfinch to that of a chaffinch, and (if Mr. Gould is right in including his sub-group, Certhidea, in the main group) even to that of a warbler. The largest beak in the genus Geospiza is shown in Fig. 1, and the smallest in Fig. 3 but instead of there being only one intermediate species, with a beak of the size shown in Fig. 2, there are no less than six species with insensibly graduated beaks. The beak of the sub-group Certhidea, is shown in Fig. 4. The beak of Cactornis is somewhat like that of a starling, and that of the fourth subgroup, Camarhynchus, is slightly parrot-shaped. Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends. In a like manner it might be fancied that a bird originally a buzzard, had been induced here to undertake the office of the carrion-feeding Polybori of the American continent. [22]

Text from On the Origin of Species Edit

Darwin discussed the divergence of species of birds in the Galápagos more explicitly in his chapter on geographical distribution in On the Origin of Species:

The most striking and important fact for us in regard to the inhabitants of islands, is their affinity to those of the nearest mainland, without being actually the same species. [In] the Galapagos Archipelago . almost every product of the land and water bears the unmistakable stamp of the American continent. There are twenty-six land birds, and twenty-five of these are ranked by Mr. Gould as distinct species, supposed to have been created here yet the close affinity of most of these birds to American species in every character, in their habits, gestures, and tones of voice, was manifest. . The naturalist, looking at the inhabitants of these volcanic islands in the Pacific, distant several hundred miles from the continent, yet feels that he is standing on American land. Why should this be so? Why should the species which are supposed to have been created in the Galapagos Archipelago, and nowhere else, bear so plain a stamp of affinity to those created in America? There is nothing in the conditions of life, in the geological nature of the islands, in their height or climate, or in the proportions in which the several classes are associated together, which resembles closely the conditions of the South American coast: In fact there is a considerable dissimilarity in all these respects. On the other hand, there is a considerable degree of resemblance in the volcanic nature of the soil, in climate, height, and size of the islands, between the Galapagos and Cape de Verde Archipelagos: But what an entire and absolute difference in their inhabitants! The inhabitants of the Cape de Verde Islands are related to those of Africa, like those of the Galapagos to America. I believe this grand fact can receive no sort of explanation on the ordinary view of independent creation whereas on the view here maintained, it is obvious that the Galapagos Islands would be likely to receive colonists, whether by occasional means of transport or by formerly continuous land, from America and the Cape de Verde Islands from Africa and that such colonists would be liable to modification — the principle of inheritance still betraying their original birthplace. [23]

Whereas Darwin spent just five weeks in the Galápagos, and David Lack spent three months, Peter and Rosemary Grant and their colleagues have made research trips to the Galápagos for about 30 years, particularly studying Darwin's finches.

Females are dimorphic in song type: songs A and B are quite distinct. Also, males with song A have shorter bills than B males. This is also a clear difference. With these beaks, males are able to feed differently on their favourite cactus, the prickly pear Opuntia. Those with long beaks are able to punch holes in the cactus fruit and eat the fleshy aril pulp, which surrounds the seeds, whereas those with shorter beaks tear apart the cactus base and eat the pulp and any insect larvae and pupae (both groups eat flowers and buds). This dimorphism clearly maximises their feeding opportunities during the non-breeding season when food is scarce.

If the population is panmixic, [24] [25] then Geospiza conirostris exhibits a balanced genetic polymorphism and not, as originally supposed, a case of nascent sympatric speciation. The selection maintaining the polymorphism maximises the species' niche by expanding its feeding opportunity. The genetics of this situation cannot be clarified in the absence of a detailed breeding program, but two loci with linkage disequilibrium [26] is a possibility.

Another interesting dimorphism is for the bills of young finches, which are either 'pink' or 'yellow'. All species of Darwin's finches exhibit this morphism, which lasts for two months. No interpretation of this phenomenon is known. [27]

Family Edit

For some decades, taxonomists have placed these birds in the family Emberizidae along with the New World sparrows and Old World buntings. [28] However, the Sibley–Ahlquist taxonomy puts Darwin's finches with the tanagers (Monroe and Sibley 1993), and at least one recent work follows that example (Burns and Skutch 2003). The American Ornithologists' Union, in its North American checklist, places the Cocos finch in the Emberizidae, but with an asterisk indicating that the placement is probably wrong (AOU 1998–2006) in its tentative South American check-list, the Galápagos species are incertae sedis, of uncertain place (Remsen et al. 2007).

Species Edit

    Genus Geospiza
      (Geospiza acutirostris) (Geospiza conirostris) (Geospiza difficilis) (Geospiza septentrionalis) (Geospiza fortis) (Geospiza propinqua) (Geospiza fuliginosa) (Geospiza magnirostris) (Geospiza scandens)
      (Camarhynchus psittacula) (Camarhynchus pauper) (Camarhynchus parvulus) (Camarhynchus pallidus) – sometimes separated in Cactospiza (Camarhynchus heliobates)
      (Certhidea olivacea) (Certhidea fusca)
      (Pinaroloxias inornata)
      (Platyspiza crassirostris)

    In 1981, a male Española cactus finch arrived at Daphne Major island. Its mating with local Galapagos finches (specifically G. fortis) has produced a new "big bird" population that can exploit previously unexploited food due to its larger size. They do not breed with the other species on the island, as the females do not recognize the songs of the new males. Genetic evidence shows that now, after two generations, it lives in a complete reproductive isolation from the native species. According to professor Leif Andersson of Uppsala University, a taxonomist not aware of its history would consider it a distinct species. [29] [30]

    A long term study carried out for more than 40 years by the Princeton University researchers Peter and Rosemary Grant has documented evolutionary changes in beak size affected by El Niño/La Niña cycles in the Pacific. [31]

    Molecular basis of beak evolution Edit

    Developmental research in 2004 found that bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4), and its differential expression during development, resulted in variation of beak size and shape among finches. BMP4 acts in the developing embryo to lay down skeletal features, including the beak. [32] The same group showed that the development of the different beak shapes in Darwin's finches are also influenced by slightly different timing and spatial expressions of a gene called calmodulin (CaM). [33] Calmodulin acts in a similar way to BMP4, affecting some of the features of beak growth. The authors suggest that changes in the temporal and spatial expression of these two factors are possible developmental controls of beak morphology. In a recent study genome sequencing revealed a 240 kilobase haplotype encompassing the ALX1 gene that encodes a transcription factor affecting craniofacial development is strongly associated with beak shape diversity. [34] [35] Moreover, these changes in the beak size have also altered vocalizations in Darwin's finches. [5]


    Published manuscript transcripts

    For a list of manuscripts newly transcribed on Darwin Online click here.

    Banks, M. R.1971. A Darwin manuscript on Hobart Town. Papers and proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. Text Image PDF F1829

    Banks, M. R. & D. Leaman eds. 1999. Charles Darwin's Field Notes on the geology of Hobart Town &mdash A modern appraisal. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. Text Image F1821

    Barlow, N. ed. 1933. Charles Darwin's diary of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle. Text Image PDF F1566

    巴尔罗 诺拉. 1958. 达尔文在贝格尔舰上的旅行日记. 周邦立译. 北京: 北京科学出版社. PDF F1566a

    Barlow, N. 1935. Charles Darwin and the Galapagos Islands. Nature. Text F2112

    Barlow, N. ed. 1945. Charles Darwin and the voyage of the Beagle. Text Image PDF F1571

    巴尔罗·诺拉. 1958. 查尔斯·达尔文在贝格尔舰上的旅行. 周邦立译. 北京: 北京科学出版社. PDF F1883g

    Barlow, N. ed. 1958. The autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809-1882. With the original omissions restored. Edited and with appendix and notes by his grand-daughter Nora Barlow. Text Image PDF F1497

    Barlow, N. ed. 1963. Darwin's ornithological notes. Bulletin BMNH With introduction, notes & appendix by the editor. Text Image PDF F1577

    Barrett, P. H. ed. 1960. A transcription of Darwin's first notebook [B] on 'Transmutation of species'. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard. Text Image F1575

    Barrett, P. H. 1974. The Sedgwick-Darwin geologic tour of North Wales. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. Text Image PDF F1964

    Barrett, P. H. 1974. Early writings of Charles Darwin. In Gruber, Darwin on man. [Notebooks M, N, Old and useless notes, Essay on theology and natural selection, Questions for Mr. Wynne, Extracts from B-C-D-E notebooks, A Biographical Sketch of Darwin's Father, Plinian Society Minutes Book] Text F1582

    Barrett, P. H. ed. 1977. On the Ova of Flustra, or, Early Notebook, Containing Observations Made by C.D. When He Was at Edinburgh, March 1827. In Collected papers. Text F1583a

    Barrett, P. H., Gautrey, P. J., Herbert, S., Kohn, D., Smith, S. eds. 1987. Charles Darwin's notebooks, 1836-1844: Geology, transmutation of species, metaphysical enquiries. F1817

    Chancellor, G. 1990. Charles Darwin's St Helena Model Notebook. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1839

    Chancellor, G. & J. van Wyhe eds. with K. Rookmaaker. 2009. Charles Darwin's notebooks from the voyage of the Beagle. Foreword by R. D. Keynes. PDF F2044

    Darwin, C. R. 1885. Über die Wege der Hummel-Männchen. In Krause, E. ed., Gesammelte kleinere Schriften von Charles Darwin. Text Image PDF F1584

    Darwin, C. R. 1894. [Note on a Toxodon skull]. In Owen ed. The life of Richard Owen. Text Image F2032

    Darwin, C. R. 1889 [Extracts from notes on variation under nature]. In A.R. Wallace. Darwinism. Text F2105

    Darwin, F. ed. 1887. The life and letters of Charles Darwin, including an autobiographical chapter.
    Vol. 1 Text Image PDF F1452.1
    Vol. 2 Text Image PDF F1452.2
    Vol. 3 Text Image PDF F1452.3

    Darwin, F. & Seward, A. C. eds. 1903. More letters of Charles Darwin.
    Vol. 1. Text Image PDF F1548.1
    Vol. 2. Text Image PDF F1548.2

    Darwin, F ed. 1909. The foundations of The origin of species, a sketch written in 1842. Text Image PDF F1555

    Darwin, F. ed. 1909. The foundations of The origin of species. Two essays written in 1842 and 1844. Text Image PDF F1556

    de Beer, G. ed. 1959. Darwin's journal. Bulletin BMNH Image PDF F1573 [Superceded by [Darwin's personal 'Journal'] Introduction Text]

    de Beer, G. ed. 1960. Darwin's notebooks on transmutation of species. Part I. First notebook [B]. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1574a

    de Beer, G. ed. 1960. Darwin's notebooks on transmutation of species. Part II. Second notebook [C]. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1574b

    de Beer, G. ed. 1960. Darwin's notebooks on transmutation of species. Part III. Third notebook [D]. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1574c

    de Beer, G. ed. 1960. Darwin's notebooks on transmutation of species. Part IV, Fourth notebook [E]. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1574d

    de Beer, G., Rowlands, M. J. eds. 1961. Darwin's notebooks on transmutation of species. Addenda and corrigenda. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1574e

    de Beer, G., Rowlands, M. J. and Skramovsky, B. M. eds. 1967. Darwin's notebooks on transmutation of species. Part VI. Pages excised by Darwin. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1574f

    Freeman, R. B. ed. 1968. Charles Darwin on the routes of male humble bees. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1581

    Herbert, S. ed. 1980. The red notebook of Charles Darwin. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1583e

    Herbert, S. 1995. From Charles Darwin's portfolio: An early essay on South American geology and species. Earth Sciences History. Text Image PDF F1956

    [Keynes, R. D. ed.] 1979. The journal of a voyage in H.M.S. Beagle by Charles Darwin. [Foreword by Prince Charles, Introduction by Keynes and crew list only.] PDF F1583b

    Keynes, R. D. ed. 1979. The Beagle record. PDF F167c

    Keynes, R. D. ed. 2000. Charles Darwin's zoology notes & specimen lists from H.M.S. Beagle. Text Image PDF F1840

    Keynes, R. D. ed. 2001. Charles Darwin's Beagle Diary. Text Image PDF F1925

    Olby, R. C. ed. 1963. Charles Darwin's manuscript of pangenesis. British Journal of the History of Science. Text Image F1578

    Porter, D. M. 1987. Darwin's notes on Beagle plants. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1827

    Porter, D. M. 1999. Charles Darwin's Chilean plant collections. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural. Text F2114

    Rudwick, M. J. S. 1974. Darwin's Agenda for Lochaber. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. Text F1909

    Smith, K. G. V. 1987. Darwin's insects: Charles Darwin's entomological notes, with an introduction and comments. Bulletin BMNH Text Image PDF F1830

    Smith, K. G. V. 1996. Supplementary notes on Darwin's insects. Archives of natural history. Text PDF A783

    Sobol', S. L. 1957. Vospominanii͡a o razvitii moego uma i kharaktera (avtobiografii͡a) dnevnik raboty i zhizni. PDF F1540

    Stanbury, D. 1977. A narrative of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle. London: Folio Society. PDF F167a

    Stauffer, R. C. ed. 1975. Charles Darwin's Natural Selection being the second part of his big species book written from 1856 to 1858. Text Image PDF F1583

    Stoddart, D. R. ed. 1962. Coral islands by Charles Darwin: with introduction, map and remarks. Atoll Research Bulletin. Text Image PDF F1576

    Vorzimmer, P. 1975. An early Darwin manuscript: The "Outline and Draft of 1839". Journal of the History of Biology. Text A2063


    The influential evolutionary scientist, who coined such terms as ‘stem cell’ and ‘ecology’, was also a virtuoso illustrator. The editor of a new book celebrating this work introduces some highlights

    Captions by Rainer Willmann

    Main image: Growing influence … detail from plate 50 of Haeckel’s Report on the Siphonophorae collected by HMS Challenger, 1888. Photograph: Taschen Köln/Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen

    Wed 1 Nov 2017 06.00 GMT Last modified on Thu 22 Feb 2018 12.33 GMT


    Darwin: With Glimpses into His Private Journal and Letters

    Audience: Upper elementary 3rd- 6th graders who want to be inspired to try new things and to stay true to your interests and talents.

    Appeal: The story is great it is not only educational but tells students to not give up on their dreams and inspirations. The book also contains real incerpts of Darwin&aposs private journal. Kids will want to read it because the journal was kept secret for several years after his death.

    Award: NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book
    Audience: Upper elementary 3rd- 6th graders who want to be inspired to try new things and to stay true to your interests and talents.

    Appeal: The story is great it is not only educational but tells students to not give up on their dreams and inspirations. The book also contains real incerpts of Darwin's private journal. Kids will want to read it because the journal was kept secret for several years after his death.

    Award: NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book
    . more

    McGinty, Alice B. (2009). Darwin. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Unpaginated. ISBN 978-0-618-99531-8 (Hardcover) $16.00

    Below the title on the cover, we read, “With Glimpses into His Private Journal & Letters.” It is exactly this approach that makes this book notable. Students are learning to distinguish the difference between primary and secondary sources and this book is a perfect book to show how McGinty used both primary and secondary sources to craft this extensively researched biography. Just a McGinty, Alice B. (2009). Darwin. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Unpaginated. ISBN 978-0-618-99531-8 (Hardcover) $16.00

    Below the title on the cover, we read, “With Glimpses into His Private Journal & Letters.” It is exactly this approach that makes this book notable. Students are learning to distinguish the difference between primary and secondary sources and this book is a perfect book to show how McGinty used both primary and secondary sources to craft this extensively researched biography. Just about every page has an insert containing Darwin’s actual words, which shows students how McGinty decided to organize and write her text. We travel with Darwin as a mediocre student who upsets his father and continue on as Darwin boards the Beagle and begins collecting the critters that fill him with questions that are still argued fiercely today. While the artwork is not as appealing as Trueman’s (above), it serves the text well and is pleasing, if a bit skewed toward younger students. In the endpapers, McGinty writes, …Charles Darwin showed just how much can be accomplished by simply asking a question and working diligently to find the answer.” This book will answer many questions about Darwin’s life, but more importantly, it will prompt students to ask their own questions and then see the value of looking for answers independently. The picture book format should not discourage middle school (and even brave high schools) from adding this book to classrooms and collections.
    . more


    The influential evolutionary scientist, who coined such terms as ‘stem cell’ and ‘ecology’, was also a virtuoso illustrator. The editor of a new book celebrating this work introduces some highlights

    Captions by Rainer Willmann

    Main image: Growing influence … detail from plate 50 of Haeckel’s Report on the Siphonophorae collected by HMS Challenger, 1888. Photograph: Taschen Köln/Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen

    Wed 1 Nov 2017 06.00 GMT Last modified on Thu 22 Feb 2018 12.33 GMT


    Voyage of the Beagle

    To listen to this book review as a podcast, click below:

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast.
    __________________________
    This book is really a rare treasure. Is there anything comparable? Here we have the very man whose ideas have revolutionized completely our understanding of life, writing with charm about the very voyage which sparked and shaped his thinking on the subject. And even if this book wasn’t a window into the mind of one of history’s most influential thinkers, it would still be ent To listen to this book review as a podcast, click below:

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast.
    __________________________
    This book is really a rare treasure. Is there anything comparable? Here we have the very man whose ideas have revolutionized completely our understanding of life, writing with charm about the very voyage which sparked and shaped his thinking on the subject. And even if this book wasn’t a window into the mind of one of history’s most influential thinkers, it would still be entertaining on its own merits. Indeed, the public at the time thought so, making Darwin into a bestselling author.

    I can hardly imagine how fascinating it would have been for a nineteenth-century Englishman to read about the strange men and beasts in different parts of the world. Today the world is so flat that almost nothing can surprise. But what this book has lost in exotic charm, it makes up for in historical interest for now it is a fascinating glimpse into the world 150 years ago. Through Darwin’s narrative, we both look out at the world as it was, and into the mind of a charming man. And Darwin was charming. How strange it is that one of today’s most vicious debates—creationism vs. evolution, religion vs. science—was ignited by somebody as mild-mannered and likable as Mr. Darwin.

    His most outstanding characteristic is his curiosity everything Darwin sees, he wants to learn about: “In England any person fond of natural history enjoys in his walks a great advantage, by always having something to attract his attention but in these fertile climates, teeming with life, the attractions are so numerous, that he is scarcely able to walk at all.”

    As a result, the range of topics touched upon in this volume is extraordinary: botany, entomology, geology, anthropology, paleontology—the list goes on. Darwin collects and dissects every creature he can get his hands on he examines fish, birds, mammals, insects, spiders. (Admittedly, the descriptions of anatomy and geological strata were often so detailed as to be tedious Darwin, though brilliant, could be very dry.) In the course of these descriptions, Darwin also indulged in quite a bit of speculation, offering an interesting glimpse into both his thought-process and the state of science at that time. (I wonder if any edition includes follow-ups of these conjectures it would’ve been interesting to see how they panned out.)

    In retrospect, it is almost unsurprising that Darwin came up with his theory of evolution, for he encounters many things that are perplexing and inexplicable without it. Darwin finds fossils of extinct megafauna, and wonders how animals so large could have perished completely. He famously sees examples of one body-plan being adapted—like a theme and variations—in the finches of the Galapagos Islands. He also notes that the fauna and flora on those islands are related to, though quite different from, that in mainland South America. (If life there was created separately, why wouldn’t it be completely different? And if it was indeed descended from the animals on the mainland, what made it change?)

    Darwin also sees abundant examples of convergent evolution—two distinct evolutionary lines producing similar results in similar circumstances—in Australia:

    More surprisingly, Darwin finds that animals in isolated, uninhabited islands tend to have no fear of humans. And, strangely enough, an individual animal from these islands can’t even be taught to fear humans. Why, Darwin asks, does an individual bird in Europe fear humans, even though it's never been harmed by one? And why can’t you train an individual bird from an isolated island to fear humans? My favorite anecdote is of Darwin repeatedly throwing a turtle into the water, and having it return to him again and again—because, as Darwin notes, its natural predators are ocean-bound, and it has adapted to see the land as a place of safety. Darwin also manages to walk right up to an unwary fox and kill it with his geological hammer.

    You can see how all of these experiences, so odd without a theory of evolution, become clear as day when Darwin’s ideas are embraced. Indeed, many are still textbook examples of the implications of his theories.

    This book would have been extraordinary just for the light it sheds on Darwin’s early experiences in biology, but it contains many entertaining anecdotes as well. It is almost a Bildungsroman: we see the young Darwin, a respectable Englishman, astounded and amazed by the wide world. He encounters odd creatures, meets strange men, and travels through bizarre landscapes. And, like all good coming of age stories, he often makes a fool of himself:

    The Beagle was sent on a surveying mission by the Royal Navy initially it was intended to last three years but it was extended to five and the ship circumnavigated the globe. The captain, Fitzroy, wanted a companion on the voyage and through a convoluted series of events, ended up with a youthful Darwin along, which so annoyed the official ship&aposs Naturalist who was also the surgeon (as was common), that he resigned and left at the first port of call, part way across the Atlantic. Fortunately an The Beagle was sent on a surveying mission by the Royal Navy initially it was intended to last three years but it was extended to five and the ship circumnavigated the globe. The captain, Fitzroy, wanted a companion on the voyage and through a convoluted series of events, ended up with a youthful Darwin along, which so annoyed the official ship's Naturalist who was also the surgeon (as was common), that he resigned and left at the first port of call, part way across the Atlantic. Fortunately another surgeon was appointed at the same port.

    Very little of what Darwin wrote actually talks about the oceans. this is because he was no great sailor and spent most of his time aboard acutely seasick. Which, in turn, is why Darwin contrived to spend three out of five years on land!

    All this and more is discussed in an excellent introduction to this edition, which has printed the 1st edition, abridging Darwin's journal by approx. 1/3, however. I'm not sure how to feel about that have I been saved from really dull stuff that would have made what is a pretty lively book a chore to read? Or have I missed out on some interesting material? Weirdly, having made this 1/3 chop, the original Naval orders for the mission are included along with Fitzroy's essay attempting to reconcile the Bible (specifically the Deluge i.e. the Noah story) with contemporary geology. Even more weirdly both of these appendices are worthwhile. The mission orders are very practical and sensible and as specific as practicable and not, as I imagined they would be, vague and bureaucratic.

    Fitzroy's essay reminded me of the kind of thing that went on in Oxford and Cambridge in the Middle Ages, where people devoted themselves primarily to attempting to reconcile reality with the Classical philosophers and the Bible, deploying a lot of casuistry and not much else for the most part. (Roger Bacon being a notable exception and look what happened to him - yep, locked up by he Church for practising black magic.) The fact is that even at the time of Beagle's voyage, it was clear that the Earth had to be orders of magnitude older than the historical record (with Genesis taken at face value) suggested and literal belief in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, was crumbling amongst the educated scientists. Christianity itself was still axiomatic for most, however and Darwin no exception at the time as cannot be mistaken from this book.

    Getting back to Darwin and his book, the Voyage is a rarely dull, often vivacious account not only of the flora and fauna Darwin encounters but also of the geology, people and societies he encounters, too, the latter providing most of the funny and dramatic moments, of which there are many. I cannot recommend it to people uninterested in geology and biology, however. Readers who cannot cope with such entries as a detailed theory of the formation of coral reefs (still considered correct as far as it goes, I believe) will get bogged down quite often. That said, anyone who has successfully waded through The Origin of Species will find this an easy ride by comparison.

    Darwin displays an interesting blend of progressive attitudes (e.g. anti-slavery) and typical-of-his-day Victorian Christian notions (e.g. Christian Western Europe is the pinnacle of human societies) whilst observing on the many different nations and cultures he encounters alongside the wildlife and geology. Apparently the people of Tierra Del Feugo are the "least improved" on the planet.

    What you won't find here is a theory of evolution, the question of the origin of species arising only a few times and then very obliquely and in passing.

    In conclusion, nowhere near as important as Origin of Species but much more fun to read.

    This is not the correct edition. Mine is published by Recorded Books, read by John Franklin Robbins, & is just selections from the book, about 4.5 hours long, with additional material - a really good biography. It was short & to the point. It&aposs been a long time since I last read this, but I think I liked it in audio better than in print. Darwin&aposs prose is perfect for being read out loud.

    Everyone always talks about Darwin&aposs theories on evolution which makes it tough to remember that he was an al This is not the correct edition. Mine is published by Recorded Books, read by John Franklin Robbins, & is just selections from the book, about 4.5 hours long, with additional material - a really good biography. It was short & to the point. It's been a long time since I last read this, but I think I liked it in audio better than in print. Darwin's prose is perfect for being read out loud.

    Everyone always talks about Darwin's theories on evolution which makes it tough to remember that he was an all around natural philosopher. These selections actually contained more on geology & the natives than evolution. Of course, he uses both to support the theory of evolution & since we're all fairly familiar with it now, these selections really help show just how much knowledge he brought to bear.

    He was incredibly well read & didn't come up with his theories in a void. He constantly refers to the work of others, many of them natural philosophers who had studied other areas & species. He & Wallace were just the first to unify this knowledge.

    It was really interesting to listen to his opinions on native peoples, especially on slavery which was rampant around the world at the time. He mentions how children were bought for a mere button from some of the native tribes. As horrifying as that was, he was more horrified by how slaves were broken by their Spanish masters & yet he was remote when he described how some natives would cannibalize their old women for food before they would eat their dogs. If nothing else, this is an excellent reminder of how far the world has come in a mere 150 years.

    I can't recommend this highly enough. After listening to this, I'm going to have to listen to the full book some time soon.
    . more

    Darwin&aposs own account of the, now almost legendary, five year voyage of the Beagle is an entertaining, illuminating and fascinating read. Darwin writes with such enthusiasm that it&aposs difficult not to be swept up in the journey and the remarkable things he witnessed and studied as he circumnavigated the globe.

    The only thing I found slightly disappointing was Darwin&aposs attitude towards some of the peoples (or, as he refers to them, &apossavages&apos) he interacted with on his trek. Darwin was famously anti- Darwin's own account of the, now almost legendary, five year voyage of the Beagle is an entertaining, illuminating and fascinating read. Darwin writes with such enthusiasm that it's difficult not to be swept up in the journey and the remarkable things he witnessed and studied as he circumnavigated the globe.

    The only thing I found slightly disappointing was Darwin's attitude towards some of the peoples (or, as he refers to them, 'savages') he interacted with on his trek. Darwin was famously anti-slavery but it becomes painfully clear in the reading of this book that he did not object to slavery because he saw slaves as equal human beings suffering a horrific injustice but rather he objected to slavery in the same way somebody today might object to cruelty to animals. He took pity on slaves but he still regarded them as lesser beings. His views may have been progressive for his time but, perhaps unrealistically, I'd hoped for more. . more

    This book is Charles Darwin&aposs journal of his 5-year voyage on the HMS Beagle.

    This journey marked the second of Captain Fitzroy and the Beagle but the first for 22-year-old Charles Darwin, who had decided to become a naturalist like Alexander von Humboldt.
    Darwin had stopped studying medicine and refused to become a priest so the persuasion of an uncle was necessary for Charles&apos father to allow (and fund) the journey in the first place. But he did.

    They went from England to Tenerife, Cape Verde, Ba This book is Charles Darwin's journal of his 5-year voyage on the HMS Beagle.

    This journey marked the second of Captain Fitzroy and the Beagle but the first for 22-year-old Charles Darwin, who had decided to become a naturalist like Alexander von Humboldt.
    Darwin had stopped studying medicine and refused to become a priest so the persuasion of an uncle was necessary for Charles' father to allow (and fund) the journey in the first place. But he did.

    They went from England to Tenerife, Cape Verde, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, the Falkland Islands, Valparaiso, Lima, the Galápagos Islands, before leaving South America to sail on to New Zealand, Sidney, Hobart (Tasmania) and King George's Sound in Australia, Cocos Island, Mauritius, Cape Town, then back to Bahia, Cape Verde and the Azores before returning to England.

    Thus, they were on quite a tight schedule which explains why Darwin's time on the Galápagos was cut short - an important detail because he made his most profound discoveries there that later resulted in his most famous work and if he had had more time, maybe he would have remembered to label those finches and/or keep at least one tortoise for his studies (but more of that in my review for The Origin of Species).

    While the Beagle was a relatively small ship, Darwin nevertheless filled her to the brim with specimen - some sailors getting enthused and helping him, much to the dismay of a few others.

    He always kept a meticulous journal that served as a diary as much as a study book where he jutted down all his observations. Thus, we can not only see, while reading this book now, what he discovered but also what his thought process was like. We read of him being severely seasick at first, his fascination with nature, we find out that he was anti-slavery (sadly, not for the same pure reasons Humboldt had), what he thought of certain people he was with or encountered along the way.
    We also see the influence of his paternal grandfather Erasmus Darwin, who had laid a few of the foundations of Darwin's theories just like Humboldt had.

    A note on Darwin's view of indiginous people. Certainly, some thoughts he wrote down are cringeworthy from today's perspective and were especially disappointing after initially learning that he was anti-slavery. However, for a man of his day and age (not counting the unapologetic anomaly that was Humboldt) he was very progressive.

    What I loved above all else was that we get to revel in Darwin's beautiful writing style that brings to life the sea, jungles and various animals and plants. He had a way of transporting the reader to the places he had been to and I felt as if I was making the journey with him while reading this.
    This vivid writing style, that made this journal appear almost like a novel, really surprised and delighted me as I had not expected it. In fact, I got so swept up in the narrative that I found myself sitting at the edge of my seat whenever Darwin's musings showed him getting close to the scientific truth but not quite despite me knowing that it would take him a little longer yet.

    A fantastic feat and I love that my edition shows sketches by Darwin himself as well as paintings of landscapes he's been to or animals (now extinct) that he encountered. However, for all those wanting the highlights of the journey, I can also recommend the audio version narrated by Dawkins which I listened to simultaneously (I know, ME endorsing an abridged version, the scandal)! ) . more

    Commanders in the Royal Navy could not socialize with their crew. They ate their meals alone-- then they met with the officers on board ship. This took it&aposs mental toll on the ship&aposs Captain&aposs and so they were allowed a "civil" companion-- someone from outside the Navy who would be under their command but was not part of the crew. Captain Fitz Roy (age 26), a Nobleman and a passionate Naturalist chose Charles Darwin (a wealthy, upper-class Naturalist "enthusiast") to be his companion aboard the Commanders in the Royal Navy could not socialize with their crew. They ate their meals alone-- then they met with the officers on board ship. This took it's mental toll on the ship's Captain's and so they were allowed a "civil" companion-- someone from outside the Navy who would be under their command but was not part of the crew. Captain Fitz Roy (age 26), a Nobleman and a passionate Naturalist chose Charles Darwin (a wealthy, upper-class Naturalist "enthusiast") to be his companion aboard the HMS Beagle for the five year voyage to map Patagonia and Tierra del Feugo and circumnavigate the globe.

    What I found most interesting about this book was how easy it is to read and enjoy. It is the edited journal of Charles Darwin during his voyage on HMS Beagle, yes, but it reads like a travel channel show with Darwin as your host. This is not the old, "Origin of Species" Darwin with his long white beard and noble, wisely appearance. This is just-out-of-college Darwin, looking for adventure. He's 24 years old, he knows nothing, he wants to see everything, he is good natured, idealistic, and full of questions. It's like he's on a cruise ship (which happens to be a ship-of-war) and he only has a few days at each port to "party" and see all the sights ("Naturalist gone Wild!"). What makes the journals enjoyable is that this is not a young man who thinks he has all the answers. He is aware of his inexperience and unfamiliarity with every surrounding he finds himself in and relies on interviews with others (locals, magistrates, natives, scientists) to fill in the blanks. He is smart. He accumulates facts. He writes them down. He expresses brief opinions. He gathers more facts. He has adventures. And here and there a light clicks on. We see something start to dawn on him. He doesn't put it together (that will come years later) but all the information he needs to formulate his later theories is here-- he just doesn't see it. But we do! And that's the fun of reading these journals: watching this young man grow up on this five year voyage. What makes this an extraordinary read is that we know how it ends. This book is a little like watching The Sixth Sense a second time (after you know the twist) to watch all the clues missed the first time-- knowing that years later-- Darwin will see the twist. . more

    What I wrote in my LJ while I was reading it.
    _

    So I&aposve started reading The Voyage of the Beagle. I&aposve only read a chapter or so so far, but it&aposs very enjoyable. I just kind of wish I&aposd paid more attention to my geology classes in school. It&aposs a lot more relaxed and not nearly as self-conscious and defensive as TOoS was. It&aposs all along the lines of "Hi all! We arrived on Random Island today. The trees are pretty but the people didn&apost even give us coffee. Can you believe it?! Anyhoo, I found a rock What I wrote in my LJ while I was reading it.
    _

    So I've started reading The Voyage of the Beagle. I've only read a chapter or so so far, but it's very enjoyable. I just kind of wish I'd paid more attention to my geology classes in school. It's a lot more relaxed and not nearly as self-conscious and defensive as TOoS was. It's all along the lines of "Hi all! We arrived on Random Island today. The trees are pretty but the people didn't even give us coffee. Can you believe it?! Anyhoo, I found a rock that turned out to be bird shit, and a octopus spat in my face today. Yay! It was the happiest moment of my life. More tomorrow! Byeeee!"

    Very adorable. He also keeps hitting things with his geological hammer.
    _

    I'm still reading the VotB as well, which really is a bit of an adventure novel, not in the least because it really reads like a diary, and because Darwin seems to have a healthy sense of humour about himself. Every other page he seems to make a fool of himself in some way or another. Also, he seems surprisingly humble and insecure in his naturalistic findings. He records and very tentatively makes links, but at this point most of the big work seems to be done by the people he sent his samples back to. He also really seems to fanboy Humboldt, to be a staunch abolitionist, and I am sure he really pissed FitzRoy off when he carried eight or nine dinosaur skeletons on board.
    _

    Also, another Darwin quote that I just read in the bath:

    The captain at last said, he had one question to ask me, which he should be very much obliged if I would answer with all truth. I trembled to think how deeply scientific it would be: it was, "Whether the ladies of Buenos Ayres were not the handsomest in the world." I replied, like a renegade, "Charmingly so." He added, "I have one other question: Do ladies in any other part of the world wear such large combs?" I solemnly assured him that they did not. They were absolutely delighted. The captain exclaimed, "Look there! a man who has seen half the world says it is the case we always thought so, but now we know it." My excellent judgment in combs and beauty procured me a most hospitable reception the captain forced me to take his bed, and he would sleep on his recado.

    This book is too fricking amusing.
    ____

    Yet more Darwin, because I might as well keep you updated now.

    We're in Patagonia and have just gone on an upriver hike/boatride to the Cordilleras. I've found out I read these books much like I read naval passages in Patrick O'Brian. It's not like I skip anything and I get the main gist and it makes sense while I'm reading, but I don't actually retain it all by a long, long, long shot. Impressions stay and I learn some new things if only through repetition, but a lot of it I lose again almost immediately. Darwin keeps referencing Jack Byron's accounts now and I feel so very guilty for not remembering a lot of these things.

    So yes, aside from a series of clear impressions and a few remembered names for each region, there is disturbingly little I remember. Humboldt would have bitchslapped me long ago.
    (At least I have the consolation that Darwin apparently always carried a few books with him to identify species with. That eases the sting a bit.)

    Also, points to you, Wordsworth Editions, for not translating the French passages.

    In any case, out of all the period accounts by naturalists that I've read so far, this is by far the most fun, the most entertaining, and the most readable. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to play around with this natural science business, not in the least because Darwin shows so much of himself. Humboldt (much as I love him) only occasionally mentioned Bonpland and only very rarely himself. Darwin stays more in the tradition of well, I'm tempted to say Stephen Maturin's journal. No romantic woes or anything, but scientific observations coupled with observations on the people he travels with coupled with "God, I'm so cold and wet and miserable and I just want to be shot of this place". It's nice. Also, animals are cute in this. From condors to spiders to foxes to armadillos. You get the feeling that if he'd known it, he would definitely have chosen "Boom de Yadda" as his personal theme song.
    _

    Ch 11 and 12 on the next leg of the journey with Darwin, leaving Patagonia and heading for Chile.

    All I still want to remark upon on the Patagonian side (where he went on a very wide tangent on the heights of snow-lines and the descent of glaciers and his usual geological geekery and sort of lost me, though he did warn the reader they could skip this bit if they weren't interested, which is very civil in him), that apparently he's read all of the different accounts related to the loss of the Wager as well. Hee! He references Byron, Bulkeley and Cummins, and Anson! Be still, my squeeful heart.

    Now we're in Valparaiso where *sings* the sky is blue, and all the leaves are green. The sun's as hot as a baked potato! And he probably feels like it's a shpadoinkel day.

    And of course, fandoms cross again when he visits Cochrane's old hacienda of Quintero.

    Also, this phrase just made me chortle: ". a relation of the great author Finis, who wrote all books!"

    Oh Charlie, you dork. ^____^
    _

    Today in the life of Darwin.
    Or rather, January 1835 in the life of Darwin.
    Or more precisely, stuff what I just read in the bath.

    Hokay, so we're still running around Chile visiting people, clambering through forests, and clocking animals with geological hammers in the time-honoured tradition of naturalists everywhere.

    When. DISASTER! Earthquakes! Volcanoes erupting! Mayhem! Destruction! Death! And Darwin somehow has the gall to say this:
    "From this circumstance Concepcion, although not so completely desolated, was a more terrible, and if I may so call it, picturesque sight."

    Picturesque?! Picturesque? No, Darwin, you may not call it that. Idiota.

    Anyway, this sets him off. Geology is his baby and there's now pages upon pages of gleeful rambling about fault lines and tectonic plates and the effect of time and islands raised and drowned etc etc.

    Now there's two more chapters ahead of me in Cochrane country Valparaiso and then heigh ho, off to the Galapagos to clock some finches, turtles and aquatic land animals.

    Galapagos Chapter, everybody knows this.
    _

    Darwin. He's mopy and grumpy and really not liking Waimate, or anything about the south island of New Zealand at all, though most of New Zealand is getting shot down for being a bunch of war-crazy, ugly, uncivilized, filthy barbarians with ugly tattoos. He's not getting much work done and people keep randomly shooting at other people and he's in a funk. A deep funk. Stupid island. Stupid tattoos. Stupid orcs.

    This in GREAT contrast to Tahiti which to him for just the little time he was there was heaven on earth. Everybody was friendly and smiling, there was food everywhere that tasted divine, the people were so much better looking than Westerners, and oh, he just adored the tattoos. I mean, he really really liked those Tahitian tattoos. Did he mention loving the tattoos yet? And how handsome people are? It must be the tattoos. He's not ready to say much in favour for against the missionaries there since he says he's read conflicting accounts by people who have been there for far, far longer than he has and therefore should know a lot better, but I think Darwin has left a tiny little piece of his heart there.

    Hokay, I just had a bit of a longer reading session just now and finished the Voyage of the Beagle. By now I've sort of gotten used to reporting the good bits back to LJ here, so you try to keep them in your mind as you read on.

    I was going to mention how some people at Waimate have partially redeemed New Zealand in his eyes, how very very mixed his impression of Australia was, I was going to go over his thoughts on atolls and barrier reefs (strangely uninteresting for someone who has grown up on the National Geographic channel and takes all these things for granted), his descriptions of Keeling Island, Mauritius and Ascension.

    But then. oh then he went home. And that last chapter is so beautiful, people, you have no idea. It's personal, emotional and wonderful and just for the joy of reading this one chapter alone I would more than recommend this book. He talks with immense and very real regret about his inability to put into words all that he has seen, he launches into the most spirited rages and rants against the injustices of slavery, he remembers fondly the scenes he thought the most beautiful, the scenes he thought the most horrific, and the scenes he knew would be the most memorable in the end. He talks about the people he has met with such warmth of feeling, and at the very end he addresses any young, budding naturalists who might be reading.

    I feel like it would be a great shame not to pass this on:

    "But I have too deeply enjoyed the voyage, not to recommend any naturalist, although he must not expect to be so fortunate in his companions as I have been, to take all chances, and to start, on travels by land if possible, if otherwise, on a long voyage. He may feel assured, he will meet with no difficulties or dangers, excepting in rare cases, nearly so bad as he beforehand anticipates. In a moral point of view, the effect ought to be, to teach him good-humoured patience, freedom from selfishness, the habit of acting for himself, and of making the best of every occurrence. In short, he ought to partake of the characteristic qualities of most sailors. Travelling ought also to teach him distrust but at the same time he will discover, how many truly kind-hearted people there are, with whom he never before had, or ever again will have any further communication, who yet are ready to offer him the most disinterested assistance."

    Charles Darwin, I love you. . more

    Upon matriculating into Loyola University&aposs MA/PhD program in philosophy during the late summer of 1980, I was assigned to Bill Ellos as his teaching assistant. Bill, a deep-cover Jesuit, had come to Chicago from Washington State, having done some work there with educational film as well as being a university professor. His interests were diverse to say the least. His doctoral dissertation from the Pontifical Institute in Rome was on Wittgenstein, but the work he had me doing originally was most Upon matriculating into Loyola University's MA/PhD program in philosophy during the late summer of 1980, I was assigned to Bill Ellos as his teaching assistant. Bill, a deep-cover Jesuit, had come to Chicago from Washington State, having done some work there with educational film as well as being a university professor. His interests were diverse to say the least. His doctoral dissertation from the Pontifical Institute in Rome was on Wittgenstein, but the work he had me doing originally was mostly in medical ethics, sociobiology and the foundations of evolutionary theory. That meant a lot of reading for me, both of Wittgenstein and of Darwin and Wallace. Most of it was close reading in that he expected me to follow themes, to create indices relevant to his work. This was fine. I often was learning more from the research assistantship than from classwork. Besides, we only met occasionally and he got me assistantships every summer so I could literally take the work to Michigan and the beach in the warm months.

    Darwin's account of his researches while berthed as a gentleman scientist on HMS Beagle works as a travel book, but it is punctuated by the kinds of observations which led to his theory of natural selection. As such, it is recommended to anyone interested in the subject as an introduction to it. Too often we learn "science" from textbooks, presented as if received from on high as holy writ, and do not learn how the knowledge was obtained, the interpretations derived. "The Voyage of the Beagle" gives some of that background in a highly entertaining, even adventurous, fashion.

    The theory of evolution was not, of course, new with Darwin. One finds such speculation in the ancient Greeks. Kant's "Anthropology" speculates about our descent from simian ancestors. What Darwin did was to hypothesize an agent, natural selection, for such evolution and provide detailed data supporting his theory.

    I was fortunate to have four years and three summers of research assistantships at Loyola and doubly fortunate to be assigned, at least half-time, to Bill Ellos during most if not all of that period. Although I never took one of his medical ethics courses, he probably cared for my intellectual and professional development more than any other at the university. It was he who not only got me to read most of Wittgenstein, but also encouraged me to deliver a paper on the man and later publish it. It was he who got me interested and involved in fields beyond the ken of contemporary academic philosophy. Yet, throughout, I always had the sense that he was adjusting my work assignments somewhat, taking into account my own interests, potential interests and needs, not just his own.

    Towards the end of these assignments I learned that one was expected to spend about 16-20 hours weekly on one's assistantship. I was amazed, having spent more like 40 hours weekly at the flat rate of pay we all received. Still, it was worth it. I would have done much of it for Bill and for myself without recompense.

    At the end, after orals and after reaching the absolute limit on assistantship assignments, Bill took me out for dinner and conversation at a fine restaurant in Evanston. He needn't have done that, but the human touch, so characteristic of Bill, was much appreciated.

    I have no idea where Bill is now. . more

    Charles Darwin. he remains as of yet the only historical figure I would have loved to have had the chance to meet. He&aposs a zoologist, a botanist, a geologist. Darwin is a scientist through and through.

    Voyage of the Beagle. I loved the fauna, didn&apost really understand much about the flora, and had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the geology.

    But what surprised me most, was the parts of Darwin&aposs personality that shone through his writing. wit, sarcasm, humanitarianism.

    This is definite Charles Darwin. he remains as of yet the only historical figure I would have loved to have had the chance to meet. He's a zoologist, a botanist, a geologist. Darwin is a scientist through and through.

    Voyage of the Beagle. I loved the fauna, didn't really understand much about the flora, and had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the geology.

    But what surprised me most, was the parts of Darwin's personality that shone through his writing. wit, sarcasm, humanitarianism.

    This is definitely a book I will be keeping on my bookshelf, though I doubt whether I'll ever again read it from cover to cover. . more

    For a long time (too long), it looked like it was going to take me longer to read this book than it took the Beagle to sail around the world. Darwin was a brilliant man, and a fine writer. But the genre of naturalistic travel writings is just not for me. In a similar vein, I&aposve also read some of Thoreau&aposs travel writings, a less brilliant man but a better writer, and came away with the same feeling.

    In brief sections, I would find the book brilliant. But those brief sections would not be enough t For a long time (too long), it looked like it was going to take me longer to read this book than it took the Beagle to sail around the world. Darwin was a brilliant man, and a fine writer. But the genre of naturalistic travel writings is just not for me. In a similar vein, I've also read some of Thoreau's travel writings, a less brilliant man but a better writer, and came away with the same feeling.

    In brief sections, I would find the book brilliant. But those brief sections would not be enough to drive me forward. So instead, I had to plunge through longer pieces at a time, and the brilliance somehow turns to a dull slog. After not too long, I simply lose interest in how many varieties of insect he found on that other side of some obscure mountain in South America. Yeah, and I know that's my failing.

    In college, this book was required for several Freshman english classes, but thankfully not for mine. If I had been forced to read this in a couple of weeks or less, I might simply have dropped out.

    I did find it interesting to see how thoroughly Darwin, who was otherwise extremely open minded, clung to the notion of British nobility and how it contrasted with savagery. I can almost see how the Social Darwinists would come to pervert his theories, because his notions about the superiority of civilization, and of British civilization in particular, seem to point in that direction (even if they are strictly speaking irrelevant).

    The other thing that impressed me in this book was his acceptance that extinction is just part of the way of things. He blithely mentions the inevitable extinction of species at several points in the book. What a sharp contrast to the progressive environmentalists who seem to want to put an end to all extinctions, and think that it is somehow our duty.

    I wish I had liked this book more. There's not a whole lot that I found wrong with it, given what it is and what it was trying to do. On that score, it is exceptionally good. The only problem is, I guess, that I just don't like that sort of book, and I refuse to learn my lesson and stop reading them. . more

    Darwin was largely a paternalistic meliorist, who apparently genuinely believed that Europeans were improving people&aposs lives through colonialism, missionaries, etc.

    This book reveals odd doubts, though. Darwin expresses agnostic puzzlement about oral histories telling of terrible plagues accompanying the arrival of Europeans. He&aposs not sure how to believe it, and yet can&apost (quite) dismiss it--so he recommends further study (which, I might add, has confirmed the stories of epidemics in spades).

    Dar Darwin was largely a paternalistic meliorist, who apparently genuinely believed that Europeans were improving people's lives through colonialism, missionaries, etc.

    This book reveals odd doubts, though. Darwin expresses agnostic puzzlement about oral histories telling of terrible plagues accompanying the arrival of Europeans. He's not sure how to believe it, and yet can't (quite) dismiss it--so he recommends further study (which, I might add, has confirmed the stories of epidemics in spades).

    Darwin's detestation of slavery, however, was evidently genuine and horrified. He rejects apologies for the 'peculiar institution' with a vehemence rare in such a mild-mannered man.

    The adventure stories are interesting, and the naturalist notes fascinating. It might pay to get an illustrated edition--Darwin was a good writer, but not much of a draftsman, from what I can tell. . more

    What a fascinating book! I listened to the Audible version wonderfully narrated by Barnaby Edwards. It felt very personal - like joining Darwin near the fireplace after dinner each evening to listen to his adventures and discoveries. As a result, I have gained great appreciation for Darwin&aposs efforts and contributions.

    In the past, I have always associated his name with the theory of evolution but there is so much more! I am astounded that he was only in his early twenties on this voyage and had What a fascinating book! I listened to the Audible version wonderfully narrated by Barnaby Edwards. It felt very personal - like joining Darwin near the fireplace after dinner each evening to listen to his adventures and discoveries. As a result, I have gained great appreciation for Darwin's efforts and contributions.

    In the past, I have always associated his name with the theory of evolution but there is so much more! I am astounded that he was only in his early twenties on this voyage and had already developed high levels of observation, critical thinking, and detailed writing. I appreciated and enjoyed his thought processes about what he observed, how he contrasted and compared it with other locations, and how he reasoned the mechanisms and concepts that produced whatever he was observing, be it geology, ecology, biology, geography, sociology, and even astronomy. The depth of his understanding of the sciences was amazing. I especially loved the language he used including words like "manufactories" and "geologizing". His experiences with Gauchos and the Mules with their Madrinas were fun, too. I even pulled out my atlas to visualize and follow along the journey.

    His closing statements are definitely words of wisdom to live by. His interest in the world drove his education, which was NOT spoon fed to him. While he did obtain some formal education, the majority of his education came from his own curiosity and delving into research of his own and that of others. He understood how all the systems are linked and affect each other over time.

    As I see it, his curiosity and interest drove his desire to understand the world around him. His interest led to focused observation, which led to research and critical thinking, which resulted in an individual with utmost appreciation and respect for our wondrous earth and all living things upon it.

    Definitely one of my all-time favorites. I hope you'll give it a chance and that you'll enjoy it as much as I did. . more

    The Best Book I Ever Read on a Holiday

    We&aposre going to take a little vacation, and along with getting house-sitters lined up, I&aposve been thinking about what to take to read. Don&apost know yet, but I keep coming back to the best book I ever read while on a trip.

    It&aposs Darwin&aposs The Voyage of the Beagle. Now available as a free pdf, 35 years ago the edition I took along was a quality paperback that still is in one piece despite being consulted many times. It was just the right size to tuck in a backpack or The Best Book I Ever Read on a Holiday

    We're going to take a little vacation, and along with getting house-sitters lined up, I've been thinking about what to take to read. Don't know yet, but I keep coming back to the best book I ever read while on a trip.

    It's Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle. Now available as a free pdf, 35 years ago the edition I took along was a quality paperback that still is in one piece despite being consulted many times. It was just the right size to tuck in a backpack or to pull out at night in the twilight as we canped our way the US headed for California.

    We hadn't been in Montreal very long, and this was our first trip back to visit family. We hiked quite a bit, and thought about what we were seeing. For example, I couldn't figure out the geography of the Colorado Plateau: how did all those layers of sedimentary rocks exposed by the Colorado river at the Grand Canyon come into being? I'd done some reading about the Sierra Nevada before we left California a few years befoe, so I had some idea about uplift and mountain building. The theory of plate tectonics was just being elaborated too, so there was much uncertainty about how things all happened. A couple of text books picked up once back in Montreal helped me make sense of things.

    But Darwin had no textbooks to explain the many things he saw in the five year voyage around the world. His observations were his own, rendered with the enthusiasm of a young man (he was only 22 when he started out) and were pertinent enough to guide his thinking until the end of his life.

    This was Darwin&aposs journal from his 5 year voyage on the Beagle. It predates his famous theory on evolution, but is where it all started. This is a book that should come with a disclaimer. Although it is fascinating to read the work that started it all, one must take a moment to realize when it was written. It is painfully racist. I had to remind myself many times that this was in the early 1800s, but his references to natives as savages and these cultures being inferior to his own, and his nonch This was Darwin's journal from his 5 year voyage on the Beagle. It predates his famous theory on evolution, but is where it all started. This is a book that should come with a disclaimer. Although it is fascinating to read the work that started it all, one must take a moment to realize when it was written. It is painfully racist. I had to remind myself many times that this was in the early 1800s, but his references to natives as savages and these cultures being inferior to his own, and his nonchalance on these people getting shot down almost had me stopping this book several times, but I powered through it and, well, I'm not sure I really had to. I am not an evolutionary biologist with a love of the history of the field. I am an amateur who loves science, of which there is very little in this book that isn't found elsewhere in other books. If you really must read Darwin, read On the Origin of Species, the racism is much more subdued and if you want to learn more about evolution, read something more modern, it got really interesting once genes and DNA were discovered.

    So my take away is that, yes, this book is historically significant and shouldn't be burned or destroyed or anything, but it's also not a book that needs to be read by any but the most interested in Darwin and evolution. I wouldn't recommend reading this book, but I wouldn't not recommend it either, I'd just give a warning on it. . more

    Darwin&aposs &aposThe Voyage of the Beagle&apos is a strange mixture of ecstatic travel writing and keen scientific observation. Darwin&aposs writing style is very dense and informative, but at times bursts into strong emotional and very engaging writing. By all means this is powerful prose.

    Darwin not only makes very sharp observations on geology, nature and culture, he&aposs also able to paint vivid pictures of the countries and islands he visits. His diary is of invaluable worth when describing nations and animal Darwin's 'The Voyage of the Beagle' is a strange mixture of ecstatic travel writing and keen scientific observation. Darwin's writing style is very dense and informative, but at times bursts into strong emotional and very engaging writing. By all means this is powerful prose.

    Darwin not only makes very sharp observations on geology, nature and culture, he's also able to paint vivid pictures of the countries and islands he visits. His diary is of invaluable worth when describing nations and animals that since then have disappeared from the earth. Most of his book deals with South America (15 of 21 Chapters), where Darwin e.g. describes the life of gauchos and that of the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, the South American wars on its native populations, and a severe earthquake. It's a pity Darwin could not visit New Zealand or Australia much longer, for they are only sketchily described. Even the much praised Galapagos islands only get one chapter.

    Among the numerous interesting passages I would like to single out Darwin's descriptions of extinct South American megafauna and the nature of extinction (Chapter 5, p. 72-74 & Chapter 8, p. 152-155), his account of a revolution (Chapter 7, 123-124), his disturbing description of the cruel Argentine wars against the native Americans (Chapter 8, p. 88-92), his description of a paradise-like Tahiti (Chapter 18, p. 358-370), his observations on the decline of aborigines in Australia (Chapter 19, p. 386-387), his dire, but sound and still viable theory on atoll forming (Chapter 20, p. 414-428), his keen account of the man-made extinctions on the isle of St. Helena (Chapter 21, p. 434-435), and his final thoughts and praise of travelling (Chapter 21, p. 444-449).

    Below a sample of striking passages from this book, to illustrate that Darwin's writings go way beyond dry descriptions of nature and its wonders:

    "St. Fé is a quiet little town, and is kept clean and in good order. The governor, Lopez, was a common soldier at the time of the revolution but has now been seventeen years in power. This stability of government is owing to his tyrannical habits for tyranny seems as yet better adapted to these countries than republicanism. The governor's favourite occupation is hunting Indians: a short time since he slaughtered forty-eight, and sold the children at the rate of three or four pounds apiece."
    (Chapter 7, p. 113)

    "Till the death of Francia, the Dictator of Paraguay, these two countries [Paraguay and Argentina] must remain distinct, as if placed on opposite sides of the globe. And when the old bloody-minded tyrant is gone to his long account, Paraguay will be torn by revolutions, violent in proportion to the previous unnatural calm. That country will have to learn, like every other South American state, that a republic cannot succeed till it contains a certain body of men imbued with the principles of justice and honour."
    (Chapter 7, p. 123)

    "A bad earthquake at once destroys our oldest associations: the earth, the very emblem of solidity, has moved between our feet like a thin crust over a fluid - one second of time has created in the mind a strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would not have produced. (. ) Earthquakes alone are sufficient to destroy the prosperity of any country. If beneath England the now inert subterranean forces should exert those powers, which most assuredly in former geological ages they have exerted, how completely would the entire condition of the country be changed! What would become of the lofty houses, thickly packed cities, great manufactories, the beautiful public and private edifices? If the new period of disturbance were first to commence by some great earthquake in the dead of the night, how terrific would be the carnage! England would at once be bankrupt all papers, records, and accounts would from that moment be lost. Government being unable to collect taxes, and failing to maintain its authority, the hand of violence and rapine would remain uncontrolled. In every large town famine would go forth, pestilence and death following in its train."
    (Chapter 14, p. 268 & 271)

    "The rivers which flow in these valleys ought rather to be called mountain-torrents. Their inclination is very great, and their water the colour of mud. The roar which the Maypu amde, as it rushed over the great rounded fragments, was like that of the sea. Amidst the din of rushing waters, the noise from the stones, as they rattled one over another, was most distinctly audible even from a distance. This rattling noise, night and day, may be heard along the whole course of the torrent. The sound spoke eloquently to the geologist the thousands and thousands of stones, which, striking against each other, made the one dull uniform sound, were all hurrying in one direction. It was like thinking on time, where the minute that now glides past is irrevocable. So was it with these stones the ocean is their eternity, and each note of that wild music told of one more step towards their destiny.
    It is not possible for the mind to comprehend, except by a slow process, any effect which is produced by a cause repeated so often, that the multiplier itself conveys an idea, not more definite than the savage implies when he points to the hairs of his head. As often as I have seen beds of mud, sand, and shingle, accumulated to the thickness of many thousand feet, I have felt inclined to exclaim that causes, such as the present rivers and the present beaches, could never have ground down and produced such masses. But, on the other hand, when listening to the rattling noise of these torrents, and calling to mind that whole races of animals have passed away from the face of the earth, and that during this whole period, night and day, these stones have gone rattling onwards in their course, I have thought to myself, can any mountains, any continent, withstand such waste?"

    (Chapter 15, p. 282-283)

    "On the 19th of August we finally left the shores of Brazil. I thank God, I shall never again visit a slave-country. To this day, if I hear a distant scream, it recalls with painful vividness my feelings when passing a house near Pernambuco, I heard the most pitiable moans, and could not but suspect that some poor slave was being tortured, yet knew that I was powerless as a child even to remonstrate. (. )
    It is argued that self-interest will prevent excessive cruelty as if self-interest protected our domestic animals, which are far less likely than degraded slaves, to stir up the rage of their savage masters. It is an argument long since protested against with noble feeling, and strikingly exemplified, by the ever-illustrious Humboldt. It is often attempted to palliate slavery by comparing the state of slaves with our poorer countrymen: if the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institution, great is our sin but how this bears on slavery, I cannot see as well might the use of the thumb-screw be defended in one land, by showing that men in another land suffered from some dreadful disease. Those who look tenderly at the slave owner, and with a cold heart at the slave, never seem to put themselves into the position of the latter what a cheerless prospect, with not even a hope of change! picture yourself the chance, ever hanging over you, of your wife and your little children - those objects which nature urges even the slave to call his own - being torn from you and sold like beasts to the first bidder! And these deeds are done and palliated by men, who profess to love their neighbours as themselves, who believe in God, and pray that his Will be done on earth! It makes one's blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty: but it is a consolation to reflect, that we at least have made a greater sacrifice, than ever made by any nation, to expiate our sin."

    (Chapter 21, p. 443-444).

    The National Geographic edition is a lazy edition: the text is presented with an index, but without any notes, rendering some of Darwin's observations puzzling, incomprehensible even. What I surely missed were modern commentaries on his findings, speculations and theories. . more


    The Darwin Experience: The Story of the Man and His Theory of Evolution

    What a brilliant idea! A book that also contains hold-in-your-hand facsimiles of some of the critical documents in the evolution of, well, Darwin&aposs theory of evolution.

    I felt like I was taking almost the same journey of discovery that Darwin did, as pages of notes and illustrations about the voyage of the Beagle, morphed into a coherent theory of the existence of life on this planet. Other scientists probably understood this before Darwin, but kept quiet about it, for fear of attracting criticis What a brilliant idea! A book that also contains hold-in-your-hand facsimiles of some of the critical documents in the evolution of, well, Darwin's theory of evolution.

    I felt like I was taking almost the same journey of discovery that Darwin did, as pages of notes and illustrations about the voyage of the Beagle, morphed into a coherent theory of the existence of life on this planet. Other scientists probably understood this before Darwin, but kept quiet about it, for fear of attracting criticism. Darwin was the first to prominently put his controversial theory out there for public consumption.

    There is also quite a bit about Darwin's personal life. I particularly liked the analysis that he wrote out to decide whether or not to get married. On one side of the page, he wrote "Marry." On the other side, "Not Marry." In the middle: "This is the question." And he wrote out thoughtful comments on both subjects. The end result: He married. And you get to hold a copy of this handwritten, life-changing sheet of paper in your own hand!

    I wish more biographies and histories were written like this. It was very efficient, and packed a lot of information into an easily-readable format that leaves a lasting impression. . more


    Contents

    Ernst Haeckel was born on 16 February 1834, in Potsdam (then part of the Kingdom of Prussia). [11] In 1852 Haeckel completed studies at the Domgymnasium, the cathedral high-school of Merseburg. [12] He then studied medicine in Berlin and Würzburg, particularly with Albert von Kölliker, Franz Leydig, Rudolf Virchow (with whom he later worked briefly as assistant), and with the anatomist-physiologist Johannes Peter Müller (1801–1858). [12] Together with Hermann Steudner he attended botany lectures in Würzburg. In 1857 Haeckel attained a doctorate in medicine, and afterwards he received the license to practice medicine. The occupation of physician appeared less worthwhile to Haeckel after contact with suffering patients. [12]

    Ernst Haeckel studied under Karl Gegenbaur at the University of Jena for three years, earning a habilitation in comparative anatomy in 1861, before becoming a professor of zoology at the University at Jena, where he remained for 47 years, from 1862 to 1909. Between 1859 and 1866 Haeckel worked on many phyla, such as radiolarians, poriferans (sponges) and annelids (segmented worms). [13] During a trip to the Mediterranean, Haeckel named nearly 150 new species of radiolarians. [13]

    In 1864, his beloved first wife, Anna Sethe, died. Haeckel dedicated some species of jellyfish of particular beauty (such as Desmonema annasethe) to his unforgettable wife. [14] [15]

    From 1866 to 1867 Haeckel made an extended journey to the Canary Islands with Hermann Fol. On 17 October 1866 he arrived in London. Over the next few days he met Charles Lyell, and visited Thomas Huxley and family at their home. On 21 October he visited Charles Darwin at Down House in Kent. [16] In 1867 he married Agnes Huschke. Their son Walter was born in 1868, their daughters Elizabeth in 1871 and Emma in 1873. [12] In 1869 he traveled as a researcher to Norway, in 1871 to Croatia (where he lived on the island of Hvar in a monastery), [17] and in 1873 to Egypt, Turkey, and Greece. [12] In 1907 he had a museum built in Jena to teach the public about evolution. Haeckel retired from teaching in 1909, and in 1910 he withdrew from the Evangelical Church of Prussia. [12]

    On the occasion of his 80th birthday celebration he was presented with a two-volume work entitled Was wir Ernst Haeckel verdanken (What We Owe to Ernst Haeckel), edited at the request of the German Monistenbund by Heinrich Schmidt of Jena. [18] [19]

    Haeckel's wife, Agnes, died in 1915, and he became substantially frailer, breaking his leg and arm. [12] He sold his "Villa Medusa" in Jena in 1918 to the Carl Zeiss foundation, which preserved his library. [12] Haeckel died on 9 August 1919. [20]

    Haeckel became the most famous proponent of Monism in Germany. [21]

    Politics Edit

    Haeckel's affinity for the German Romantic movement, coupled with his acceptance of a form of Lamarckism, influenced his political beliefs. Rather than being a strict Darwinian, Haeckel believed that the characteristics of an organism were acquired through interactions with the environment and that ontogeny reflected phylogeny. He saw the social sciences as instances of "applied biology", and that phrase was picked up and used for Nazi propaganda. [13]

    In 1906 Haeckel belonged to the founders of the Monist League (Deutscher Monistenbund), which took a stance against philosophical materialism and promote a "natural Weltanschaung". [22] This organization lasted until 1933 and included such notable members as Wilhelm Ostwald, Georg von Arco (1869–1940), Helene Stöcker and Walter Arthur Berendsohn. [23] He was the first person to use the term "first world war". [24]

    However, Haeckel's books were banned by the Nazi Party, which refused Monism and Haeckel's freedom of thought. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that Haeckel had often overtly recognized the great contribution of educated Jews to the German culture. [25]

    Haeckel was a zoologist, an accomplished artist and illustrator, and later a professor of comparative anatomy. Although Haeckel's ideas are important to the history of evolutionary theory, and although he was a competent invertebrate anatomist most famous for his work on radiolaria, many speculative concepts that he championed are now considered incorrect. For example, Haeckel described and named hypothetical ancestral microorganisms that have never been found. [ citation needed ]

    He was one of the first to consider psychology as a branch of physiology. He also proposed the kingdom Protista [12] in 1866. His chief interests lay in evolution and life development processes in general, including development of nonrandom form, which culminated in the beautifully illustrated Kunstformen der Natur (Art forms of nature). Haeckel did not support natural selection, rather believing in Lamarckism. [26]

    Haeckel advanced a version of the earlier recapitulation theory previously set out by Étienne Serres in the 1820s and supported by followers of Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire including Robert Edmond Grant. [27] It proposed a link between ontogeny (development of form) and phylogeny (evolutionary descent), summed up by Haeckel in the phrase "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny". His concept of recapitulation has been refuted in the form he gave it (now called "strong recapitulation"), in favour of the ideas first advanced by Karl Ernst von Baer. The strong recapitulation hypothesis views ontogeny as repeating forms of adult ancestors, while weak recapitulation means that what is repeated (and built upon) is the ancestral embryonic development process. [28] Haeckel supported the theory with embryo drawings that have since been shown to be oversimplified and in part inaccurate, and the theory is now considered an oversimplification of quite complicated relationships, however comparison of embryos [6] remains a powerful way to demonstrate that all animals are related. Haeckel introduced the concept of heterochrony, the change in timing of embryonic development over the course of evolution. [29] [30]

    Haeckel was a flamboyant figure, who sometimes took great, non-scientific leaps from available evidence. For example, at the time when Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859), Haeckel postulated that evidence of human evolution would be found in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). At that time, no remains of human ancestors had yet been identified. He described these theoretical remains in great detail and even named the as-yet unfound species, Pithecanthropus alalus, and instructed his students such as Richard and Oskar Hertwig to go and find it. [ citation needed ]

    One student did find some remains: a Dutchman named Eugène Dubois searched the East Indies from 1887 to 1895, discovering the remains of Java Man in 1891, consisting of a skullcap, thighbone, and a few teeth. These remains are among the oldest hominid remains ever found. Dubois classified Java Man with Haeckel's Pithecanthropus label, though they were later reclassified as Homo erectus. Some scientists of the day suggested [31] Dubois' Java Man as a potential intermediate form between modern humans and the common ancestor we share with the other great apes. The current consensus of anthropologists is that the direct ancestors of modern humans were African populations of Homo erectus (possibly Homo ergaster), rather than the Asian populations exemplified by Java Man and Peking Man. (Ironically, a new human species, Homo floresiensis, a dwarf human type, has recently been discovered in the island of Flores). [32]

    The creationist polygenism of Samuel George Morton and Louis Agassiz, which presented human races as separately created species, was rejected by Charles Darwin, who argued for the monogenesis of the human species and the African origin of modern humans. In contrast to most of Darwin's supporters, Haeckel put forward a doctrine of evolutionary polygenism based on the ideas of the linguist August Schleicher, in which several different language groups had arisen separately from speechless prehuman Urmenschen (German: proto-humans), which themselves had evolved from simian ancestors. These separate languages had completed the transition from animals to man, and under the influence of each main branch of languages, humans had evolved – in a kind of Lamarckian use-inheritance – as separate species, which could be subdivided into races. From this, Haeckel drew the implication that languages with the most potential yield the human races with the most potential, led by the Semitic and Indo-Germanic groups, with Berber, Jewish, Greco-Roman and Germanic varieties to the fore. [33] As Haeckel stated: [34]

    We must mention here one of the most important results of the comparative study of languages, which for the Stammbaum of the species of men is of the highest significance, namely that human languages probably had a multiple or polyphyletic origin. Human language as such probably developed only after the species of speechless Urmenschen or Affenmenschen (German: ape-men) had split into several species or kinds. With each of these human species, language developed on its own and independently of the others. At least this is the view of Schleicher, one of the foremost authorities on this subject. . If one views the origin of the branches of language as the special and principal act of becoming human, and the species of humankind as distinguished according to their language stem, then one can say that the different species of men arose independently of one another.

    Haeckel's view can be seen as a forerunner of the views of Carleton Coon, who also believed that human races evolved independently and in parallel with each other. These ideas eventually fell from favour. [ citation needed ]

    Haeckel also applied the hypothesis of polygenism to the modern diversity of human groups. He became a key figure in social darwinism and leading proponent of scientific racism, stating for instance: [35]

    The Caucasian, or Mediterranean man (Homo Mediterraneus), has from time immemorial been placed at the head of all the races of men, as the most highly developed and perfect. It is generally called the Caucasian race, but as, among all the varieties of the species, the Caucasian branch is the least important, we prefer the much more suitable appellation proposed by Friedrich Müller, namely, that of Mediterranese. For the most important varieties of this species, which are moreover the most eminent actors in what is called "Universal History", first rose to a flourishing condition on the shores of the Mediterranean. . This species alone (with the exception of the Mongolian) has had an actual history it alone has attained to that degree of civilisation which seems to raise men above the rest of nature.

    Haeckel divided human beings into ten races, of which the Caucasian was the highest and the primitives were doomed to extinction. [36] In his view, 'Negroes' were savages and Whites were the most civilised: for instance, he claimed that '[t]he Negro' had stronger and more freely movable toes than any other race, which, he argued, was evidence of their being less evolved, and which led him to compare them to ' "four-handed" Apes'. [37]

    In his Ontogeny and Phylogeny Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote: "[Haeckel's] evolutionary racism his call to the German people for racial purity and unflinching devotion to a 'just' state his belief that harsh, inexorable laws of evolution ruled human civilization and nature alike, conferring upon favored races the right to dominate others . all contributed to the rise of Nazism." [38]

    In his introduction to the Nazi party ideologue Alfred Rosenberg's 1930 book, [The Myth of the Twentieth Century], Peter Peel affirms that Rosenberg had indeed read Haeckel. [39]

    In the same line of thought, historian Daniel Gasman states that Haeckel's ideology stimulated the birth of Fascist ideology in Italy and France. [40]

    However, Robert J. Richards notes: "Haeckel, on his travels to Ceylon and Indonesia, often formed closer and more intimate relations with natives, even members of the untouchable classes, than with the European colonials." and says the Nazis rejected Haeckel, since he opposed antisemitism, while supporting ideas they disliked (for instance atheism, feminism, internationalism, pacifism etc.). [41]

    Asia hypothesis Edit

    Haeckel claimed the origin of humanity was to be found in Asia: he believed that Hindustan (Indian subcontinent) was the actual location where the first humans had evolved. Haeckel argued that humans were closely related to the primates of Southeast Asia and rejected Darwin's hypothesis of Africa. [42] [43]

    Haeckel later claimed that the missing link was to be found on the lost continent of Lemuria located in the Indian Ocean. He believed that Lemuria was the home of the first humans and that Asia was the home of many of the earliest primates he thus supported that Asia was the cradle of hominid evolution. Haeckel also claimed that Lemuria connected Asia and Africa, which allowed the migration of humans to the rest of the world. [44] [45]

    In Haeckel’s book The History of Creation (1884) he included migration routes which he thought the first humans had used outside of Lemuria. [ citation needed ]

    When Haeckel was a student in the 1850s he showed great interest in embryology, attending the rather unpopular lectures twice and in his notes sketched the visual aids: textbooks had few illustrations, and large format plates were used to show students how to see the tiny forms under a reflecting microscope, with the translucent tissues seen against a black background. Developmental series were used to show stages within a species, but inconsistent views and stages made it even more difficult to compare different species. It was agreed by all European evolutionists that all vertebrates looked very similar at an early stage, in what was thought of as a common ideal type, but there was a continuing debate from the 1820s between the Romantic recapitulation theory that human embryos developed through stages of the forms of all the major groups of adult animals, literally manifesting a sequence of organisms on a linear chain of being, and Karl Ernst von Baer's opposing view, stated in von Baer's laws of embryology, that the early general forms diverged into four major groups of specialised forms without ever resembling the adult of another species, showing affinity to an archetype but no relation to other types or any transmutation of species. By the time Haeckel was teaching he was able to use a textbook with woodcut illustrations written by his own teacher Albert von Kölliker, which purported to explain human development while also using other mammalian embryos to claim a coherent sequence. Despite the significance to ideas of transformism, this was not really polite enough for the new popular science writing, and was a matter for medical institutions and for experts who could make their own comparisons. [47] : 264–267 [48]

    Darwin, Naturphilosophie and Lamarck Edit

    Darwin's On the Origin of Species, which made a powerful impression on Haeckel when he read it in 1864, was very cautious about the possibility of ever reconstructing the history of life, but did include a section reinterpreting von Baer's embryology and revolutionising the field of study, concluding that "Embryology rises greatly in interest, when we thus look at the embryo as a picture, more or less obscured, of the common parent-form of each great class of animals." It mentioned von Baer's 1828 anecdote (misattributing it to Louis Agassiz) that at an early stage embryos were so similar that it could be impossible to tell whether an unlabelled specimen was of a mammal, a bird, or of a reptile, and Darwin's own research using embryonic stages of barnacles to show that they are crustaceans, while cautioning against the idea that one organism or embryonic stage is "higher" or "lower", or more or less evolved. [49] Haeckel disregarded such caution, and in a year wrote his massive and ambitious Generelle Morphologie, published in 1866, presenting a revolutionary new synthesis of Darwin's ideas with the German tradition of Naturphilosophie going back to Goethe and with the progressive evolutionism of Lamarck in what he called Darwinismus. He used morphology to reconstruct the evolutionary history of life, in the absence of fossil evidence using embryology as evidence of ancestral relationships. He invented new terms, including ontogeny and phylogeny, to present his evolutionised recapitulation theory that "ontogeny recapitulated phylogeny". The two massive volumes sold poorly, and were heavy going: with his limited understanding of German, Darwin found them impossible to read. Haeckel's publisher turned down a proposal for a "strictly scholarly and objective" second edition. [47] : 269–270

    Embryological drawings Edit

    Haeckel's aim was a reformed morphology with evolution as the organising principle of a cosmic synthesis unifying science, religion, and art. He was giving successful "popular lectures" on his ideas to students and townspeople in Jena, in an approach pioneered by his teacher Rudolf Virchow. To meet his publisher's need for a popular work he used a student's transcript of his lectures as the basis of his Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte of 1868, presenting a comprehensive presentation of evolution. In the Spring of that year he drew figures for the book, synthesising his views of specimens in Jena and published pictures to represent types. After publication he told a colleague that the images "are completely exact, partly copied from nature, partly assembled from all illustrations of these early stages that have hitherto become known". There were various styles of embryological drawings at that time, ranging from more schematic representations to "naturalistic" illustrations of specific specimens. Haeckel believed privately that his figures were both exact and synthetic, and in public asserted that they were schematic like most figures used in teaching. The images were reworked to match in size and orientation, and though displaying Haeckel's own views of essential features, they support von Baer's concept that vertebrate embryos begin similarly and then diverge. Relating different images on a grid conveyed a powerful evolutionary message. As a book for the general public, it followed the common practice of not citing sources. [47] : 270–274

    The book sold very well, and while some anatomical experts hostile to Haeckel's evolutionary views expressed some private concerns that certain figures had been drawn rather freely, the figures showed what they already knew about similarities in embryos. The first published concerns came from Ludwig Rütimeyer, a professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at the University of Basel who had placed fossil mammals in an evolutionary lineage early in the 1860s and had been sent a complimentary copy. At the end of 1868 his review in the Archiv für Anthropologie wondered about the claim that the work was "popular and scholarly", doubting whether the second was true, and expressed horror about such public discussion of man's place in nature with illustrations such as the evolutionary trees being shown to non-experts. Though he made no suggestion that embryo illustrations should be directly based on specimens, to him the subject demanded the utmost "scrupulosity and conscientiousness" and an artist must "not arbitrarily model or generalise his originals for speculative purposes" which he considered proved by comparison with works by other authors. In particular, "one and the same, moreover incorrectly interpreted woodcut, is presented to the reader three times in a row and with three different captions as [the] embryo of the dog, the chick, [and] the turtle". He accused Haeckel of "playing fast and loose with the public and with science", and failing to live up to the obligation to the truth of every serious researcher. Haeckel responded with angry accusations of bowing to religious prejudice, but in the second (1870) edition changed the duplicated embryo images to a single image captioned "embryo of a mammal or bird". Duplication using galvanoplastic stereotypes (clichés) was a common technique in textbooks, but not on the same page to represent different eggs or embryos. In 1891 Haeckel made the excuse that this "extremely rash foolishness" had occurred in undue haste but was "bona fide", and since repetition of incidental details was obvious on close inspection, it is unlikely to have been intentional deception. [47] : 275–276282–286

    The revised 1870 second edition of 1,500 copies attracted more attention, being quickly followed by further revised editions with larger print runs as the book became a prominent part of the optimistic, nationalist, anticlerical "culture of progress" in Otto von Bismarck's new German Empire. The similarity of early vertebrate embryos became common knowledge, and the illustrations were praised by experts such as Michael Foster of the University of Cambridge. In the introduction to his 1871 The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Darwin gave particular praise to Haeckel, writing that if Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte "had appeared before my essay had been written, I should probably never have completed it". The first chapter included an illustration: "As some of my readers may never have seen a drawing of an embryo, I have given one of man and another of a dog, at about the same early stage of development, carefully copied from two works of undoubted accuracy" with a footnote citing the sources and noting that "Häckel has also given analogous drawings in his Schöpfungsgeschichte." The fifth edition of Haeckel's book appeared in 1874, with its frontispiece a heroic portrait of Haeckel himself, replacing the previous controversial image of the heads of apes and humans. [47] : 285–288 [50]

    Controversy Edit

    Later in 1874, Haeckel's simplified embryology textbook Anthropogenie made the subject into a battleground over Darwinism aligned with Bismarck's Kulturkampf ("culture struggle") against the Catholic Church. Haeckel took particular care over the illustrations, changing to the leading zoological publisher Wilhelm Engelmann of Leipzig and obtaining from them use of illustrations from their other textbooks as well as preparing his own drawings including a dramatic double page illustration showing "early", "somewhat later" and "still later" stages of 8 different vertebrates. Though Haeckel's views had attracted continuing controversy, there had been little dispute about the embryos and he had many expert supporters, but Wilhelm His revived the earlier criticisms and introduced new attacks on the 1874 illustrations. [51] Others joined in: both expert anatomists and Catholic priests and supporters were politically opposed to Haeckel's views. [47] : 288–296

    While it has been widely claimed that Haeckel was charged with fraud by five professors and convicted by a university court at Jena, there does not appear to be an independently verifiable source for this claim. [52] Recent analyses (Richardson 1998, Richardson and Keuck 2002) have found that some of the criticisms of Haeckel's embryo drawings were legitimate, but others were unfounded. [53] [54] There were multiple versions of the embryo drawings, and Haeckel rejected the claims of fraud. It was later said that "there is evidence of sleight of hand" on both sides of the feud between Haeckel and Wilhelm His. [55] Robert J. Richards, in a paper published in 2008, defends the case for Haeckel, shedding doubt against the fraud accusations based on the material used for comparison with what Haeckel could access at the time. [56]

    Haeckel was elected as a member to the American Philosophical Society in 1885. [57] He was awarded the title of Excellency by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1907 [58] and the Linnean Society of London's prestigious Darwin-Wallace Medal in 1908. In the United States, Mount Haeckel, a 13,418 ft (4,090 m) summit in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, overlooking the Evolution Basin, is named in his honour, as is another Mount Haeckel, a 2,941 m (9,649 ft) summit in New Zealand and the asteroid 12323 Haeckel. [59] [ citation needed ]

    In Jena he is remembered with a monument at Herrenberg (erected in 1969), [60] an exhibition at Ernst-Haeckel-Haus, [61] and at the Jena Phyletic Museum, which continues to teach about evolution and share his work to this day. [62]

    The ratfish, Harriotta haeckeli is named in his honor. [63]

    The research vessel Ernst Haeckel is named in his honor. [64]

    Darwin's 1859 book On the Origin of Species had immense popular influence, but although its sales exceeded its publisher's hopes it was a technical book rather than a work of popular science: long, difficult and with few illustrations. One of Haeckel's books did a great deal to explain his version of "Darwinism" to the world. It was a bestselling, provocatively illustrated book in German, titled Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte, published in Berlin in 1868, and translated into English as The History of Creation in 1876. Until 1909, eleven editions had appeared, as well as 25 translations into other languages. The Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte cemented Haeckel's reputation as one of Germany's most forceful popularizers of science. His Welträthsel were reprinted ten times after the book's first publication in 1899 ultimately, over 400,000 copies were sold. [65]

    Haeckel argued that human evolution consisted of precisely 22 phases, the 21st – the "missing link" – being a halfway step between apes and humans. He even formally named this missing link Pithecanthropus alalus, translated as "ape man without speech". [66]

    Haeckel's literary output was extensive, including many books, scientific papers, and illustrations. [67]

    Monographs Edit

    • Radiolaria (1862)
    • Siphonophora (1869)
    • Monera (1870)
    • Calcareous Sponges (1872)

    Challenger reports Edit

    • Deep-Sea Medusae (1881)
    • Siphonophora (1888)
    • Deep-Sea Keratosa (1889)
    • Radiolaria (1887)

    Books on biology and its philosophy Edit

    • Generelle Morphologie der Organismen: allgemeine Grundzüge der organischen Formen-Wissenschaft, mechanisch begründet durch die von Charles Darwin reformirte Descendenz-Theorie. (1866) Berlin (General morphology of organisms: general foundations of form-science, mechanically grounded by the descendance theory reformed by Charles Darwin) (1868) in English The History of Creation (1876 6th ed.: New York, D. Appleton and Co., 1914, 2 volumes)
    • Freie Wissenschaft und freie Lehre (1877), in English, Free Science and Free Teaching
    • Die systematische Phylogenie (1894) – Systematic Phylogeny
    • Anthropogenie oder Entwickelungsgeschichte des Menschen (Anthropogeny: Or, the Evolutionary History of Man, 1874)
    • Die Welträthsel (1895–1899), also spelled Die Welträtsel – in English The Riddle of the Universe, 1901
    • Über unsere gegenwärtige Kenntnis vom Ursprung des Menschen (1898) (On our current understanding of the origin of man) – in English The Last Link, 1898
    • Der Kampf um den Entwickelungsgedanken (1905) (The struggle over thought on evolution) – in English Last Words on Evolution, 1906
    • Die Lebenswunder (1904) — in English The Wonders of Life
    • Kristallseelen : Studien über das anorganische Leben (1917) (Crystal souls: studies on inorganic life)

    Travel books Edit

    • Indische Reisebriefe (1882) – Travel notes of India
    • Aus Insulinde: Malayische Reisebriefe (1901) – Travel notes of Malaysia
    • Kunstformen der Natur (1904) – Art forms of Nature, Digital Edition (1924)
    • Wanderbilder (1905) – "Travel Images"
    • A visit to Ceylon

    For a fuller list of works of and about Haeckel, see his entry in the German Wikisource.

    Some historians have seen Haeckel's social Darwinism as a forerunner to Nazi ideology. [69] [70] [71] [ page needed ] Others have denied the relationship altogether. [72] [73] [74]

    The evidence is in some respects ambiguous. On one hand, Haeckel was an advocate of scientific racism. He held that evolutionary biology had definitively proven that races were unequal in intelligence and ability, and that their lives were also of unequal value, e.g., "These lower races (such as the Veddahs or Australian negroes) are psychologically nearer to the mammals (appes or dogs) than to civilised Europeans we must therefore, assign a totally different value to their lives." [75] As a result of the "struggle for existence", it followed that the "lower" races would eventually be exterminated. [76] He was also a social Darwinist who believed that "survival of the fittest" was a natural law, and that struggle led to improvement of the race. [77] As an advocate of eugenics, he also believed that about 200,000 mentally and congenitally ill should be killed by a medical control board. [78] This idea was later put into practice by the Third Reich, as part of the Aktion T4 program. [79] Alfred Ploetz, founder of the German Society for Racial Hygiene, praised Haeckel repeatedly, and invited him to become an honorary member. Haeckel accepted the invitation. [80] Haeckel also believed that Germany should be governed by an authoritarian political system, and that inequalities both within and between societies were an inevitable product of evolutionary law. [81] Haeckel was also an extreme German nationalist who believed strongly in the superiority of German culture. [82]

    On the other hand, Haeckel was not an anti-Semite. In the racial hierarchies he constructed Jews tended to appear closer to the top, rather than closer to the bottom as in Nazi racial thought. [83] He was also a pacifist until the First World War, when he wrote propaganda in favor of the war. [84] The principal arguments of historians who deny a meaningful connection between Haeckel and Nazism are that Haeckel's ideas were very common at the time, that Nazis were much more strongly influenced by other thinkers, and that Haeckel is properly classified as a 19th century German liberal, rather than a forerunner to Nazism. [85] [86] They also point to incompatibilities between evolutionary biology and Nazi ideology. [87]

    Nazis themselves divided on the question of whether Haeckel should be counted as a pioneer of their ideology. SS captain and biologist Heinz Brücher wrote a biography of Haeckel in 1936, in which he praised Haeckel as a "pioneer in biological state thinking". [88] This opinion was also shared by the scholarly journal, Der Biologie, which celebrated Haeckel's 100th birthday, in 1934, with several essays acclaiming him as a pioneering thinker of Nazism. [89] Other Nazis kept their distance from Haeckel. Nazi propaganda guidelines issued in 1935 listed books which popularized Darwin and evolution on an "expunged list". Haeckel was included by name as a forbidden author. [90] Gunther Hecht, a member of the Nazi Department of Race Politics, also issued a memorandum rejecting Haeckel as a forerunner of Nazism. [91] Kurt Hildebrandt, a Nazi political philosopher, also rejected Haeckel. [91] Eventually Nazis rejected Haeckel because his evolutionary ideas could not be reconciled with Nazi ideology. [92]


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