The Beak of the Finch Report

In: Science

Submitted By sourpatchkidd
Words 987
Pages 4
Ysatis Hernandez
07/01/11
Biology
Hollis

The Beak of The Finch

This is an exceptionally important and timely book for at least two reasons. In the

first place, it renders both the fact of evolution and the most powerful theory ever devised

for explaining it readily comprehensible to the general public. Secondly, Weiner's novel

provides a scientifically convincing repudiation not only of the claims of Creationists,

but also of the critiques of many nonconforming evolutionary theorists concerning the

sufficiency and continuing fruitfulness of Darwinism as a guiding conceptual archetype.

Theses objectives are achieved through Weiner’s ability to immerse the reader in an

thrilling and vigilantly documented account of the continuing operation of what Darwin

had foreknowingly surmised to be the major strength driving evolution, the locomotive

of natural selection. This process is presented not simply as something that occurred only

once, and in secluded areas, but occurs constantly and is all around us, accessible for all

to see.

Weiner centers his book on the valiant and pioneering work of Peter and

Rosemary Grant in the Galapagos Islands. Weiner moves back and forth between their

research mission (always focusing on its theoretical value) and the almost unintentional

discoveries of Darwin that commenced in the same region roughly a century before. This

approach establishes and maintains a sensation of mystery unraveling a deep fascination

in the reader.

Weiner also explains how, in the early 1970s, the Grants became concerned in

the subject matter of variability in species. Similarly, this was the very issue which,

when observed by Darwin amongst the finches of the Galapagos Islands, had led to

his innovative discovery. The Grants speculated why variability is in itself so variable

from species to…...

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