History of science

Tag archives for History of science

The Road to Paris is a web site created by the ICSU, “…a non-governmental organization representing a global membership that includes both national scientific bodies (121 National Members representing 141 countries) and International Scientific Unions (30 Members),” founded in 1931. If the ICSU had not existed when the UN was formed, the UN would have…

Perhaps we are all subject to falling into the trap of what I call the Hydraulic Theory of Everything. If you eat more you will be bigger, if you eat less you will be smaller. Emotional states are the continuously varying outcome of different levels of a set of hormones, forming “happy” or “stressy” or…

The Giants’ Shoulders # 8

“The Giants’ Shoulders” is a monthly science blogging event, in which authors are invited to submit posts on “classic” scientific papers. Information about the carnival can be found here. The last Giants’ was hosted at The Questionable Authority, here. The next issue will be hosted at The Evilutionary Biologist: All Science, All The Time, which…

Pagel on Darwin

Mark Pagel, evolutionary theorist extraordinaire, has published an Insight piece in Nature on Natural selection 150 years on. Pagel, well known for myriad projects in natural selecition theory and adaptation, and for developing with Harvey the widely used statistical phylogenetic method (and for being a reader of my thesis) wishes Charles Darwin a happy 200th…

Elephants and Horses

In 1833, Darwin spent a fair amount of time on the East Coast of South America, including in the Pampas, where he had access to abundant fossil material. Here I’d like to examine his writings about some of the megafauna, including Toxodon, Mastodon, and horses, and his further considerations of biogeography and evolution.

Everyone knows about Darwin’s Finches, of the Galapagos Islands. But of course, Darwin made observations of birds throughout his travels on The Beagle. Here, I present a number of passages from The Voyage that include some of these observations.

Fossil Quadrupeds

Charles Darwin wrote a book called Geological Observations on South America. Since Fitzroy needed to carry out intensive and extensive coastal mapping in South America, and Darwin was, at heart, a geologist more than anything else (at least during the Beagle’s voyage), this meant that Darwin would become the world’s expert on South American geology.…

Darwin and The Gauchos

We’re half way through Darwin Month, and only a tiny ways through the voyage. Need to hurry up! So, let’s skip ahead a bit and hit the Gauchos….

Darwin South of the Tropics

Eventually, the Beagle headed south to the area of Uruguay and Argentina, still on the Atlantic Coast, where extensive mapping of the coastal waters was required.