2007: 136. The Reluctant Mr. Darwin

“Charles Darwin holds a peculiar place in the history of science and society.  His name is a household word but his ideas - with a single exception - aren’t household ideas.  He’s central, he’s iconic, but that’s not to say he’s widely and well understood.”

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, David Quammen

Being the huge nerd that I am, I made sure, before I went to the Galapagos, that I had some subject relevant reading materials (see e.g. my trip to Peru).  Darwin seemed the obvious choice, and this biography was a perfect introduction to him and his theories.  It is part of the “Great Discoveries” series, which I had never heard of, but which is meant to offer brief (say 250 pages) introductions to great scientific ideas.  Perfect for me, who, despite my literary acumen is somewhat of a dolt when it comes to science.  Which is to say, I was basically familiar with Darwin’s theories (and believe them, too), but this book laid out, quite nicely what Darwin thought, when he thought it, and what implications those thought have had for our society.  In sum, this book is a perfect introduction/refresher to Darwin and the theory of evolution and I recommend it whole heartedly.  After all, if you are going to put a Darwin fish on your car (and ask what the matter is with Kansas), you should know what you’re talking about.


Recommended for:  Non scientists, and those who have gotten a little fuzzy on the details of what exactly the whole Origin of the Species is.


Date/Place Completed: 8/25/07; Flying to Quito

Categories:  Non-Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017