Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sunday book review.

This week's suggestion by Peter Nichols is a must have for any science historian. I have read several books regarding the acceptance of evolution in society and in science. "Evolution's Captain" weaves the famous voyage of the Beagle into a historical drama while sticking with a zealots resolve to the primary source material. As well known as Darwin is, the Captain Robert FitzRoy has been swept under the carpet of history, mostly because of his renouncement of Darwin in his declining years.

The famous stand off between Bishop Wilberforce and Thomas Huxley; despite its lack of primary source material, is given a lively treatment as well. The focus of the later portion of the book deals with the captain's struggles with society painting a colorful picture of Great Britten's scientific and social community at its strongest expansionist state.

From an anthropological point of view, the story of encounters with the "Fuegans" in the early part of the book, speak volumes about culture clashes and inherent misunderstanding.

Never forget FitzRoy!

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