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View Diary: Book Review: The Evolution of Everything (159 comments)

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  •  I've had real concerns from the beginning... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melo, shpilk, mcmom, RhymesWithUrple, KelleyRN2

    about how folks in the field would react to the book. It is awfully reliant on story telling, building metaphors, and relaying ideas -- and sometimes the connections can be a bit... sketchy. But I think that the book as a whole builds up a pretty good picture of how natural selection works, and more importantly for the purposes of this project how it doesn't work.

    A lot more of the book is set against 19th century events than I (or the publisher) really anticipated when I started in, but if I can get people to understand where Darwin and Wallace fit into the picture and why their idea is better than those of guys like Lamarck, Herbert Spencer, or Francis Galton, I'll be happy.

    And genuine evolutionary biologists will still give me well-deserved bonks for using the failure of NBC's prime time lineup to explain island dwarfism.

    •  but gentle ones (1+ / 0-)
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      if you do a second edition (how's that for thinking ahead), I'd be happy to give a read for some pre-bonking.

      I suspect that if you are taking down those 19th century ideas which are sadly still so prevalent, you'll end up in a number of classrooms.

      I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

      by Guinho on Sun May 30, 2010 at 10:52:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't seem to get through a week... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cdreid, melo, mcmom, RhymesWithUrple

        without hearing some reporter ask about "the missing link" or offering up some creation of Spencer as if it's what evolution is all about. Why Spencer's socioeconomic framework and Ernst Haeckel's weirder ideas seem to stick better with the public that the real consequences of natural selection is beyond me.

        Between that and how the news media mangles the energy industry in every story, I do a lot of screaming at my TV.

        Oh, and I know there's been something of a Haeckel revival, with many people pointing out that he was unfairly maligned over his ontology sketches. I'd say that's true -- and that Haeckel was still a racist whack job whose exceptional skill at freehand sketches doesn't make up for smearing German romanticism all over the popular perception of evolution.

        •  Most "reporters" (0+ / 0-)

          have a garbage education and no real critical thinking skills. And if ive explained once that evolution specifically does NOT  state that we evolve from chimpanzees ive explained it a thousand times... usually followed by "oh ok well i still dont see why you would want to tell me i'm evolved from a monkey" sigh

          The Republicans want to give your Social Security to Wall Street

          by cdreid on Sun May 30, 2010 at 04:05:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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