The adventure of evolution

By Kartik Chandrashekhar
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015 | 03:16:47 AM

Book>> Remarkable Creatures, Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species by Sean B Caroll Quercus books Indian price Rs 500

DownToEarthDown to Earth Book>> Remarkable Creatures, Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species by Sean B Caroll Quercus books Indian price Rs 500

Tributes to Charles Darwin are again in flow. After his birth bicentennial in February, it is now time to celebrate 150 years of the Origin of Species. But for Darwin (and many other naturalists), cataloguing new species wasnt important just because of its effects on science, but also because of the amazing stories of danger and discovery their travels produced.

In this book under review, American geneticist Sean B Carroll looks to uncover some of this impulse. His goals in writing the book were to bring to life the pursuit and the pleasure of scientific discovery, at the same time capturing the significance of each advance for evolutionary science."

Down to Earth  
Left Alfred Wallace, right Eugene Dubois
 

That the American scientist succeeds in his aims has a lot to do with his storytelling skills, as well as to his subjects whose lives seem to be a melange of Jurassic Park and Sherlock Holmes. Without playing down Darwin, Carroll highlights the role of Alfred Wallace, who developed a theory of evolution that was similar to Darwins.

Caroll presents the luminaries with all their foibles. The Dutch physician Eugene Dubois, for example, chucked aside a medical career and, on the strength of an educated hunch, set sail for Sumatra to find the missing link of evolution. But in the process, he brought about a lot of hardships to his pregnant wife.

Kartik Chandrashekhar is a science writer based in Melbourne, Australia

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Scroll To Top