To continue with my theme of "Let's go through the 500's section and also learn more about Science" from my last blog post, I decided to do some further research.
Why did we select this book?
This book currently has 4.5 Stars out of 5 Stars on Amazon.com. Looks pretty popular and well received. It received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly to which they had this to say about it: "When Charles Darwin set out on his voyage of discovery aboard the Beagle in 1831, he was a naïve naturalist. Upon his return to England five years later, as nature writer Haupt...capably demonstrates, he was a polished, philosophical student of nature. In fluid, lovely prose, Haupt documents this dramatic transformation, focusing on the notebooks Darwin kept during the journey. Through her selections, we see Darwin's minute observations and his understanding of the natural world, and we gain early hints of the ideas that would transform the world when he published On the Origin of Species in 1859. ...Haupt uses Darwin's personal journey as a metaphor for our contemporary view of the natural world, expressing the hope that people today might become more attuned to their natural surroundings..." (Mar. 7) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Why should we keep this book?
Amazon reviewers use the words: "refreshing", "amazing", "interesting read". Amazon User "Helen" said this: "This is an amazing book. I am a biologist and a follower of Darwin, so I ordered this book right away when I saw it reviewed in the paper. Whether your interest is in Darwin or in science and nature more generally, this book is a stand-out. The author has a solid background in philosophy of science, but she's a creative nonfiction writer. Her prose and use of language are definitely a cut above the norm for these subjects. Haupt's focus on birds and her knowledge of ornithology will please any bird-lover. In addition to offering a unique, and endearing portrait of Darwin, this book is really about a way of seeing and understanding the human relationship to the natural world. It is a reminder, as Haupt says, that "we too are animals,connected to life, past and present...that nothing in the natural world is beneath our notice." A beautiful book that will give you fresh eyes."
Maybe this should be a future display? Do we have other books on Ornithology? What is Or.ni.tho.lo.gy?
Remember, I said in my last post that I know almost nothing about everything. My friend the Oxford English Dictionary online says that it's "The scientific study of birds." Ok, that's easy enough. I think given some more time I could have figured that out through context clues (There's a bird on the cover.) Hey! that could tie into a whole "Portlandia" display! (Sorry, this is how my mind works...)
What I know about Darwin could fit on a bumper sticker. In fact, that's where most of my knowledge comes from.
According to my friend (and sometime foe) Wikipedia
Charles Robert Darwin, (February 12, 1809 – April 19, 1882) was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.
What about the HMS Beagle?
His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.
Here are a couple of really intense Darwin quotes. I'm just going to leave them right here...
"A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life."
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
His last words were to his family, telling Emma "I am not the least afraid of death – Remember what a good wife you have been to me – Tell all my children to remember how good they have been to me", then while she rested, he repeatedly told Henrietta and Francis "It's almost worth while to be sick to be nursed by you" (side note: how cute is Emma Darwin?)