Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Roarke's New and Hot (Week 4)

Recently uncovered historical evidence reveals that Darwin's publisher was advised by the Reverend Whitwell Elwin not to publish the Origin of Species, and to instead publish a book about pigeons, because (as we all know) "everyone is interested in pigeons." (Perhaps this kind of thinking can help us understand why Darwin's contemporaries were so eager to read about barnacles.)

Luckily for us, and the scientific community, Darwin's publisher decided to go against his friend's advice, and as a result, the theory of evolution by natural selection was able to take hold in the scientific community; the rest is history.

We can only imagine what might have happened had Darwin's publisher taken the advice of his adviser and not published the Origin of Species. If we're being honest, then probably nothing, as either Darwin would have found a different publisher or others like Wallace would have published their theories. Nevertheless, this little historical tidbit makes you wonder what other groundbreaking scientific theories may have been stifled because of religious or political influences.

You can see the full article at this webpage:



1 comment:

chickenpox said...

By the way, here's the website for my review of Niles Eldredge's "Charles Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life."