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Evolution: The History of an Idea

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Since its original publication in 1983, Evolution: The History of an Idea has been recognized as a comprehensive and authoritative source on the development and impact of this most controversial of scientific theories. This new edition has been entirely rewritten to take account of the latest work of historians and scientists. The sequence of chapters has been reconstructe ...more
Paperback, Revised, Third Edition, 464 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 1984)
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4.14  · 
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 ·  123 ratings  ·  6 reviews

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Wendelle So
Read 1/2... This book is written with all the detail and nuance a scholar would necessitate. The content most invaluable to me were all the insights that contradicted popular impressions about the history of evolution (TH Huxley held private reservations about Darwinism especially the aspect of gradualism; he didn't win in the popular court or make galvanic impact in his legendary debate with the wily archbishop; Mendel wasn't looking to establish a revolutionary model of heredity so much as to ...more
Rick Wayne
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Peter Bowler is an Irish historian of science who is known for his studies of evolution as an "-ism". This is undoubtedly his magnum opus and is one of the best introductory texts on this subject available.

But, a word of caution - this book is not for everyone. With notes and index, it comes to 432 pages, and, as Bowler himself notes in the preface, it is intended for undergraduate students or as a survey text for the specialist. That having been said, his prose is approachable and one does not
Shonda Wilson
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a survey-style text book on the history of evolution with what I would call a twist. The text looks at the current historiography of the field and suggests ways to improve it, pushing the reader to look into each subject covered more and asking deep questions as to how to improve upon what the book states. While comprehensive, the text does not go deeply into particular topics, but this is what one would expect from a textbook. That being said, I found it easy to read and graspable, some ...more
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
I loved this book in that it is a combination of science history with the most despised topic in American education. It is a great work on the development of an idea and supporting researching. I was surprised to find statistician Karl Pearson was a Darwinist. I knew that Fischer (ANOVA) was involved in evolutionary theory but not that he was the person to integrate population genetics. I can see this text used in conceptual change and epistemology research.
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating, fairly well-written, only periodically-dense historical account (by a guy who obviously can't stand Creationists).
Aug 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Class text for History of Biology, fall 09
Verdict: Quite good for a textbook.
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Historian of science.