Peter J. Bowler seeks to recover some of this lost history in this work, giving an account of evolutionary morphology and its relationships with paleontology and biogeography. He tracks major scientific debates over the origins of the main types of living animals and of extinct forms such as the dinosaurs. Charting the role of Darwin's ideas and the degree of their influence, the author seeks to show how these interactions constituted an interdisciplinary programme in evolutionary biology with a focus on reconstructing the past rather than on the mechanisms of change. Also examined is the rhetoric of "social Darwinism", Bowler arguing that it may have been derived not directly from the theory of natural selection but from the application of Darwinian principles to the rise and fall of different animal groups over time.
Life's Splendid Drama
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