Beak of the Finch: cheep, er, cheap.

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The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Reiner is right now cheap in Kindle form.

It is a very good account of the incredibly important work on evolution done by the Peter and Rosemary Grant on Daphne Major island in the Galapagos. This is the study that demonstrated real time evolution of birds among the group initially studied by Charles Darwin. Those observations by Darwin helped shape is conception of natural selection, and the more recent work by the Grants is a modern day demonstration that Darwin was right.

Have you read the breakthrough novel of the year? When you are done with that, try:

In Search of Sungudogo by Greg Laden, now in Kindle or Paperback
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5 thoughts on “Beak of the Finch: cheep, er, cheap.

  1. Thanks for the tip. I just bought “Beak of the Finch” on kindle. My library is beginning to push me out of my house so I’m picking up kindle books that I already have as hard copy when they are at such low prices.

    1. Indeed, and notice also that neither of those claims were made, and that was very intentional. I’ve written about this previously. The birds (mockingbirds and finches) on the Galapagos did contribute, about as much as the Rheas as well as various animals on the Falklands, and fossils, and much of that was observed prior to arriving at the Galapagos.

      His thinking about evolution clearly has roots during his voyage, but his most explicit evolution, as it were, of the evolution ideas may have been in mid to late 1837, the year after his voyage. By 1838 he was well under way in formulating his multiple theories about evolution. I would not count that as “long after” but it was certainly after. He was still probably more interested in, and thinking about, geological questions prior to that.

      But, as I noted above, I think his thinking was developing coeval with observations he was making before entering the Pacific.

  2. To tell the truth, I did notice the careful wording (which influenced my neutral response). 🙂

    In any case, the subject was a modern book where the evolution of the finches really was the subject, but I took the opportunity counter some myths.

    1. It is enough that the Galapagos finches provide another bit of evidence for bioevolution. It is not necessary that they weren’t a major factor influencing Darwin himself. And the more recent study described in the book provides specific quantitative evidence for the operation of natural selection. (Creationists make the usual lame responses: (1) They are still finches. (2) The trend reverses when conditions change.)

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