- The Tree of Life - a children's book painted as an excellent way to "escape the mindless polemics (and hero worship)" sure to come on Thursday. It's definitely right about the hero worship - Darwin, while being an excellent synthesizer of all the evolutionary ideas proposed before his time, was by no means the 'creator,' so to speak, of Evolution. It goes back to at least 600 B.C. Look it up.
- The Beak of the Finch - apparently an explanation of the premise that microevolution + time + mutations = macroevolution. And no, creationists didn't make up the distinction. Robert Leavitt did. Have creationists misused it? Perhaps. But we didn't fabricate it.
- The Politics of Evolution - examines what might have happened had Darwin published Origin immediately upon arrival in London in the 1830s.
- Charles Darwin - a two-volume biography that curiously resembles the work of Jane Austen. I'll avoid it then.
- Darwin Loves You - attempts to combat the assertion (backed up by a good quantity of evidence, I must say) that his theory, requiring no God but instead only secondary - natural (paragraph 6) - causes, "strip[s] the world of meaning." But does the fact that Darwin took interest in small things and wrote with aesthetic language really prove the author's point?
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Of finches and fact
Remember the book review? Now, five days before Darwin's 200th anniversary, come five more reviews. My comments on each one: