The Beak of the Finch tells the story of two Princeton University scientists— evolutionary biologists—engaged in an extraordinary investigation. They are. The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time. Jonathan Weiner, Author Alfred A. Knopf $30 (p) ISBN The Beak of the Finch: Evolution in Real Time by Jonathan Weiner, Jonathan Cape, pp , £ An astonishingly large proportion of the.

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In the conclusion the author relates the speed of evolution to the growing resistance of insects to insecticides and of bacteria to penicillin and related anti-bacterial drugs.

Someone really should invent a new word. Except for the work of the Grants, the book discusses other similar researches and conclusions, and how the result of these researches coexist with the way Darwin saw things as reflected in his books.

I started it from the airplane leaving the Galapagos. Other studies are also detailed that deal with different species such as moths and guppies.

So, why do people like this tome?

Sixteen writers on the decision not to have bek. What we do with our overuse of these herbicides and medications is to artificially ‘select’ for resistant strains that end up becoming the majority of the population.

I can see why it won a Pulitzer. See all books by Jonathan Weiner. It always refers to phenotypically distinct finch groups that tend not to interbreed as aeiner but, amazingly, the book never attempts a formal definition of “species” and does little more than offer conversations amongst the forlorn scientists that the finch varieties indeed really just have to be separate species despite noisome interbreeding and whatnot.


Not only was Darwin right, he was righter than he knew. Weiner shows how this is not always the case and how evolution can proceed with varying speeds under different conditions. But if we look at the whole tree of life, Darwin says, we can find innumerable gradations from weinner simple eyes consisting of hardly more than a nerveless cluster of pigment cells, which are rudimentary light sensors, ewiner the marvels of the human eye, which are more impressive pieces of work than the human telescope.


Without being condescending, he explains why evolution is accessible knowledge and important to understand. Why could that be? Therefore, it wasn’t “real science. You do have to wade through a few data-heavy sections that feel a bit like a doctoral thesis, but most of the writing is stunning: Sep 25, Ali rated it liked it Shelves: Finally, he zooms ba Fincch this book Jonathan Weiner shows us that natural selection is neither rare nor slow: The book gradually runs natural selection down and pounds it relentlessly into the guano-encrusted tuff of Daphne Major.

This book details a wonderful natural experiment: Exceptions are made for the Vegetarian and Tree Finches the males never become completely black rather they have a black head, neck and upper breast.

The Beak of the Finch – Wikipedia

I’ve not given any book five stars this summer. The Beak of the Finch had some very interesting ideas about the different paths evolution follows under different circumstances, such as when a species is being o to opposing selection forces by both sexual and natural selections, or when droughts and floods occur in successions. Particularly convincing were the chapters on pesticides and antibiotics – which show evolution in spooky real time.


Despite a lot of recent research showing this rapidity, many people still think of evolution as something that can’t be seen in anything under millions of years.

Apr 26, Jacob rated it liked it.

Leave it to the finches to start interbreeding thw melting back toward a single type. As a none scientist, it dragged on a little to much for me to follow. When the vice-governor of the islands told Darwin that the tortoises varied from island to island as well claiming he could tell which island a tortoise came from the its shellDarwin more of less ignored him.

Should you read this book? Rosemary and Peter Grant are two evolutionary biologists who did what no one had attempted to do before: The finches aren’t the only animals discussed; cichlid fish a favorite of evolutionary biologists for the ease with which they can be studied are discussed at several points; and the later part of the book includes a chapter that Rachel Carson would have loved ffinch pesticides and the adaptation of insects that such chemicals prompt.

It’s really not average, though, because climate, rainfall, etc.

The Beak of the Finch

Looking for More Great Reads? Reads like a combination detective story and adventure book. This article needs additional citations for verification.