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One Long Argument

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  83 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
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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Jason Gordon
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Michael Anderson
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
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.
Dennis Ross
I am looking for a book about Darwin for my book club. Feb 12th, tomorrow is the 200th anniversary of his birth. This book by the recently deceased Dean of American biology is good, but dry and technical. I will search further for my club
Jul 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Of all the books about Darwin and evolutionary theory, this one is the most understandable for students. Mayr presents the history of Darwin's idea along with the modern synthesis in a straightforward manner.
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Nov 12, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-2008
Perhaps I need to give this one another chance. Mayr's writing style turned me off almost immediately when I picked this one up despite my having a great fascination for the subject.
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: My daughters, son-in-laws, and wife.
Published in 1991. Ernst Mayr remains one of my favorite science authors.
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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 ...more
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