Barbara Geffen's Reviews > The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time

The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner
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's review
Jul 24, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: natural-history
Read in January, 2011

First read this book when it came out, in mid-1990s, then again in preparation for trip to Galapagos in 2011. Marvelous insight into how Darwin came to understand what was before his eyes, how the changes his grandfather (Erasmus Darwin) and other naturalists had written of had to be true. The finch tale is compelling because it details the speed with which evolution can occur, alongside that which takes literally eons to effectuate change. All of these different types of evolution occurred and are represented on various islands in the Galapagos, which is a glory to behold. The story of how the passion for such research into this topic of one married scientific couple, with a lonely and remote residence on one of the islands for many years, is well told by Weiner. A glance at their landing site, for re-supply and occasional communication with the outside world, tests one's credulity: not for me! We are indebted to their love of their work, and to this author for his informing us of it.

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