EVOLUTION SPECIAL EDITION
Editor’s Note: For our special issue on Evolution
commemorating the birth month of Charles Darwin, this column features several recent publications
centered on evolution, Darwin, and related topics.
A DEEPER PERSPECTIVE ON DARWIN
The Quotable Darwin. Collected and edited by
Janet Browne. 2018. Princeton University Press.
(ISBN 9780691169354). 348 pp. Hardcover,
This book is an essential addition to the col-
lection of any person who studies evolution or
takes an interest in the history of evolutionary
study or Darwin himself. A somewhat small and
pleasantly unassuming text, it represents the life
of Darwin through his own words, from writings,
publications, correspondences, and other sources.
Following him from the earliest days of his life to
his explorations on the Beagle and through his
later years in research and the synthesis of his
positions, Browne has captured the essence of
Darwin in a way that few besides hardcore Darwin
Appropriate for scholar and casual reader
alike, the book presents Darwin in all his many
roles – young man, student, family man, adept
scholar, and conscientious thinker. While many
of us speculate about Darwin’s thinking from
an exterior perspective, he comes to life in these
pages as we view his concerns, troubles, joys,
excitement, and considerations of science
through his own lens.
The structure of the book itself is useful,
gathering the chapters into six sections: “Early
Life and Voyage of the Beagle,” “Marriage and Scientific Work,” “Origin of Species,” “Mankind,”
“On Himself,” and “Friends and Family.” Each
section contains a number of subdivided chapters that address contributing elements to those
areas of his life. I personally found this layout
to be both easy to navigate and useful, in that
I have read through the book as a whole but also
have moments when I like to peruse specific sections, according to my thoughts that day or my
preparations for class. The format lends itself
equally well to either approach.
Amanda L. Glaze
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA 30458
DARWIN’S SUPPORTING EVIDENCE
Darwin’s Fossils: The Collection That Shaped
the Theory of Evolution. By Adrian Lister. 2018.
Smithsonian Books. (ISBN 978-1588346179).
160 pp. Softcover, $19.95.
Adrian Lister’s new book offers an excellent
account of the thrust of scientific discovery as it
developed within Darwin during his formative
years, complete with ample and detailed photographs and artwork of fossil specimens collected
by the eminent scientist during the voyage of the
Beagle. These fossils, collected over a span of five
years, were pivotal in the argument for natural
selection and the writing of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (Darwin, 1859).
Lister also offers insight into the process and the
adventure of scientific thinking and discovery.
In the chapter “The Making of a Naturalist,”
the reader learns about the training Darwin
received that led to his position aboard the Beagle. Upon arrival in South America, he set upon
a series of excursions focused on geological
inquiry and fossil collection. The book’s detailed
maps of the Beagle’s voyage are magnificent, and
the photographs of Darwin’s colleagues and
mentors are crisp.
The American Biology Teacher, Vol. 81, No. 2, pp. 138–140, ISSN 0002-7685, electronic ISSN 1938-4211. © 2019 National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights
reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press’s Reprints and Permissions web page,
www.ucpress.edu/journals.php?p=reprints. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2019.81.2.138.
AMANDA L. GLAZE, DEPARTMENT EDITOR