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Diane Publishing Books
Reason for Everything: Natural Selection and the English Imagination
Marek Kohn (au)
This fusion of science and biography is about the Englishness of evolutionary theory and the lives and personalities of those who made it. At the heart of the theory of evolution by natural selection is the notion of adaptation to the environment. When ‘adaptationists’ look at living creatures, they believe that each of their features has a purpose, for which it has been shaped by selection. And that has been a productive assumption. Here, Kohn discusses the British thinkers who developed this idea to levels of sophistication undreamed of in Darwin’s time. He begins with a portrait of Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin’s contemporary. “Kohn writes with sympathy about how each of these individuals responded to a chilling and inspiring vision of nature.”
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