Radiations and Extinctions

… biodiversity through the ages …

There’s a story that scientists like to tell about the great evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane. Supposedly, Haldane once found himself in the company of a group of theologians. They asked him what one could conclude about the nature of the Creator from a study of his creation. “An inordinate fondness for beetles,” Haldane replied.

The National Center for Science Education maintains a library of offprints and book chapters for which that they have been given explicit permission to distribute to the general public at no cost. One of these carefully selected items is a chapter from Carl Zimmer’s The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution … The download is the chapter on biodiversity and evolution from which the above quote is taken. You can download the chapter here, or you can visit NCSE and poke around on their site.