The Miriam Webster dictionary defines an armada as "A fleet of
warships." In Iain McCalman's Darwin's Armada, the term refers to the
three scientists who were early supporters of Darwin's theory of evolution by
natural selection, and who paved the way for its acceptance by Great Britain's
scientific community: Joseph Hooker, botanist (1817-1911), Thomas Huxley,
biologist (1825-1895) and Alfred Wallace, zoologist (1823-1913). The book is, in
essence, the story of how the theory of evolution by natural selection came to
be (how evolution evolved, if you will), and the vital role played by these men
in its development.
The first half of Darwin's Armada provides brief biographical sketches of Darwin, Hooker, Huxley and Wallace, and then concentrates on the voyages the men took to other lands and the scientific skills they acquired during these adventures. Darwin was ...
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