Something else about the Aristotle footnote troubled Darwin long after the fourth edition of Origin had found its way into the bookshops.
He could not see how anyone in ancient Greece, even the great philosopher, could have foreseen natural selection. There were no microscopes and so no way of studying single-celled organisms. There were no taxonomic theories to work with or against, so there was no way of understanding the various families of animals or the relationship between the plant and animal kingdoms. There were no systematic anatomical or dissection methods and no way of preserving body parts during examination. There were no studies of the effects of plague or population statistics. No libraries. Surely there were only superstition and sacrifice and vengeful gods and the relentless Greek sun turning everything black and fly-infested. How was it possible?
Excerpted from Darwin's Ghosts by Rebecca Stott. Copyright © 2012 by Rebecca Stott. Excerpted by permission of Spiegel & Grau, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions
People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them
Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.