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One Long Argument
Evolutionary theory ranks as one of the most powerful concepts of modern civilization. Its effects on our view of life have been wide and deep. One of the most world-shaking books ever published, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, first appeared in print over 130 years ago, and it touched off a debate that rages to this day.Every modern evolutionist turns to Darwin ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 15th 1993 by Harvard University Press
(first published 1991)
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Very good look at the history and development of biology over the last 150 years within the Darwinian paradigm. Some people on here have complained that there was not much detail when it came to explaining some of the theories. I have to disagree as this book clarified a lot for me and filled in some loose ends -- I have in mind the section on mosaic evolution. This is the third book I've read from Mayr and it this book that is his most clear writing. I'd say drop Dawkins in the rubbish bin.
Nov 20, 2010 Mary rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Interesting look at Darwin's theories within the intellectual context of the past 150 years. Mayr doesn't go into a lot of detail about the theories or the data supporting them, however he does break the theories down into components that can be looked at against prevailing thinking in the scientific and philosophical communities. This leads to some interesting insights. For example, it had never occurred to me that scientists of Darwin's time accepted evolution and common descent but not natura ...more
Very informational, contributing greatly to my understanding, not only of Darwin's theories but the circumstances of the times in which he wrote and what scientists have made of them since. I have actually read this through once, and am now half-way through a second read with extensive note-taking.
Decent enough book exploring Darwin's development of his theory and its acceptance over time, but I found the writing dry and sketchy, sometimes introducing concepts and detail without sufficient background. My fault that, I simply am not that familiar with the subtleties of the theory. Pushed through much of it, learning a few things.
Leads you through the relevant ideas and movements in the development of the modern evolutionary theory, putting much emphasis on Darwin and the impacts of "darwinism", with its different meanings and connotations. Mayr is a good storyteller.
Ernst Walter Mayr (July 5, 1904 – February 3, 2005) was one of the 20th century's leading evolutionary biologists. He was also a renowned taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, and historian of science. His work contributed to the conceptual revolution that led to the modern evolutionary synthesis of Mendelian genetics, systematics, and Darwinian evolution, and to the development of the bio ...moreMore about Ernst W. Mayr...