One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$19.03
(Save 29%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $15.98   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   

Overview


Evolutionary theory ranks as one of the most powerful concepts of modern civilization. Its effects on our view of life have been wide and deep. One of the most world-shaking books ever published, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, first appeared in print over 130 years ago, and it touched off a debate that rages to this day.

Every modern evolutionist turns to Darwin's work again and again. Current controversies in the life sciences very often have as their starting point some vagueness in Darwin's writings or some question Darwin was unable to answer owing to the insufficient biological knowledge available during his time. Despite the intense study of Darwin's life and work, however, many of us cannot explain his theories (he had several separate ones) and the evidence and reasoning behind them, nor do we appreciate the modifications of the Darwinian paradigm that have kept it viable throughout the twentieth century.

Who could elucidate the subtleties of Darwin's thought and that of his contemporaries and intellectual heirs--A. R. Wallace, T. H. Huxley, August Weismann, Asa Gray--better than Ernst Mayr, a man considered by many to be the greatest evolutionist of the century? In this gem of historical scholarship, Mayr has achieved a remarkable distillation of Charles Darwin's scientific thought and his enormous legacy to twentieth-century biology. Here we have an accessible account of the revolutionary ideas that Darwin thrust upon the world. Describing his treatise as "one long argument," Darwin definitively refuted the belief in the divine creation of each individual species, establishing in its place the concept that all of life descended from a common ancestor.

He proposed the idea that humans were not the special products of creation but evolved according to principles that operate everywhere else in the living world; he upset current notions of a perfectly designed, benign natural world and substituted in their place the concept of a struggle for survival; and he introduced probability, chance, and uniqueness into scientific discourse.

This is an important book for students, biologists, and general readers interested in the history of ideas--especially ideas that have radically altered our worldview. Here is a book by a grand master that spells out in simple terms the historical issues and presents the controversies in a manner that makes them understandable from a modern perspective.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

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

BioScience

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

Science Books and Films

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

Nature

It is valuable to have [Mayr's] "mature reflections" expressed so concisely and elegantly.
— Peter J. Bowler

New York Times Book Review - Geoffrey Cowley
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.
BioScience - Jeffrey Levinton
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?
Science Books and Films - Robert Schoch
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.
Nature - Peter J. Bowler
It is valuable to have [Mayr's] "mature reflections" expressed so concisely and elegantly.
Nature
It is valuable to have [Mayr's] "mature reflections" expressed so concisely and elegantly.
— Peter J. Bowler
New York Times Book Review
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
BioScience
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
Science Books and Films
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
Library Journal
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.
Booknews
A renowned evolutionist synthesizes the theories of Charles Darwin for the general reader who is tired of having only a vague notion of how they go. He also traces the evolution of evolutionary thought to our own time. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674639065
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Series: Questions of Science Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,383,340
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Ernst Mayr was Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, at Harvard University. He was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Crafoord Prize for Biology, the National Medal of Science, the Balzan Prize, and the Japan Prize.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Who is Darwin?

2. Confronting the Creationists: The First Darwinian Revolution

3. How Species Originate

4. Ideological Opposition to Darwin's Five Theories

5. The Struggle against Physicists and Philosophers

6. Darwin's Path to the Theory of Natural Selection

7. What is Darwinism?

8. A Hard Look at Soft Inheritance: Neo-Darwinism

9. Geneticists and Naturalists Reach a Consensus: The Second Darwinian Revolution

10. New Frontiers in Evolutionary Biology

References

Glossary

Acknowledge

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)