Mayr has written a clear, concise, and insightful book about those major issues surrounding the theory of evolution: extinction, finalism (teleology), essentialism, creationism, determinism, neo-Darwinism, and sociobiology. He argues that it was Darwin's unique genius, scientific research, and rational speculation that founded the ongoing mechanist/materialist open-ended but complex (five subtheories) paradigm of organic evolution by common descent through genetic variation, natural selection, and population dynamics. In this historical and critical survey, Mayr also examines the influential ideas of Aristotle, T.H. Huxley, Thomas Malthus, A.R. Wallace, and especially August Weismann (among others). In particular, he points out the far-reaching significance of ornithologist John Gould's study of speciation among those mockingbirds (not finches) on the Galapagos Islands; it greatly helped to convince Darwin that evolution is indeed a fact of nature. Highly recommended for informed laypersons, students, and scholars.
- H. James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Scientific theories...like living species, have forerunners and descendants, and they exhibit subtle changes over time...One Long Argument succeeds admirably in pinpointing the bits of evidence and inference that seeded Darwin's grand vision, and it illuminates his errors along with his insights. (Geoffrey Cowley New York Times Book Review)
You will read this book with great pleasure...Mayr simply admires Darwin to the hilt... Mayr's awe of Darwin is both illuminating and stimulating. It is also profoundly authoritative. Who else can present himself so effortlessly as a living symbol of the breadth of evolutionary thought in the twentieth century? (Jeffrey Levinton BioScience)
This short book should be read by anyone with an interest in the development, impact, and meaning of Darwinism. It is well written and accessible, without skimping on scholarship. (Robert Schoch Science Books and Films)
It is valuable to have [Mayr's] "mature reflections" expressed so concisely and elegantly. (Peter J. Bowler Nature)
The title "One Long Arguement", it is a reference to part of Darwin's introductory description to The Origin of Species (appearing within Origin itself). Read morePublished on March 10 2003 by Matthew Borr
As an introductory work in the history of science, this book offers an excellent overview. Mayr was a pre-eminent evolutionary biologist and one of the authors of the... Read morePublished on June 25 2000 by RW