Saturday, June 18, 2011
1) Donohue, Kathleen (editor). Darwin's Finches: Readings in the Evolution of a Scientific Paradigm. 2011. University of Chicago Press. Paperback: 492 pages. Price: $45.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: In Darwin’s Finches, Kathleen Donohue excerpts and collects the most illuminating and scientifically significant writings on the finches of the Galapagos to teach the fundamental principles of evolutionary theory and to provide a historical record of scientific debate. Beginning with fragments of Darwin’s Galapagos field notes and subsequent correspondence, and moving through the writings of such famed field biologists as David Lack and Peter and Rosemary Grant, the collection demonstrates how scientific processes have changed over time, how different branches of biology relate to one another, and how they all relate to evolution.
As Donohue notes, practicing science today is like entering a conversation that has been in progress for a long, long time. Her book provides the history of that conversation and an invitation to join in. Students of both evolutionary biology and history of science will appreciate this compilation of historical and contemporary readings and will especially value Donohue’s enlightening commentary.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in Darwin's Finches and/or evolutionary biology.