Zimmer, Carl. Evolution: The triumph of an idea. William Heinemann, 2002. Previous WGBH Educational Foundation, 2001. 344 pp.
It was interesting to read that Erasmus Darwin (*) was the man responsible for Charles’ evolutionary theory (13). Darwin went to religious services regularly (16). They knew in Darwins’ time that embryo development did not show humans related to fish (the gill argument – 30). He married his first cousin, a member of the Wedgwood China family (35). Most of his life’s work was devoted to writing about barnacles (42). Alfred Wallace beat Darwin to the theory of evolution (45). His friend Huxley gave one of the great oratorial comebacks in the history of man (53).
After realizing the Earth was too cool, the author believes nuclear reaction inside the Earth is why the Earth is still hot. Intriguing. But, he did not explain how the Earth’s core ended up with all of the nuclear heat, but the moon did not. Since the cores mingled, wouldn’t the moon show residual heat as well? (58-66). Modern Synthesis (80-85).
The most amazing thing I learned? The statement “Man from monkeys” was not uttered by Christians against evolution. It was written by Darwin himself (33) about evolution.
The second most amazing thing? Krakatau explosion showed that until the environment changed, creatures did not move back into the biozone. Creatures did not change, the environment changed (153). From within Extinction (142-186).
(*) Erasmus Darwin was Charles’ grandfather. His brother Erasmus was not responsible for the theory of evolution.