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Darwin's Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory
Darwin's Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory | James T. Costa
3 posts | 1 read | 13 to read
Darwins Backyard goes beyond the portrait of Charles Darwin as a brilliant thinker to concentrate on him as a nimble experimenter delving into some of evolutions great mysteries. James T. Costa takes readers on a journey from Darwins childhood through his voyage on the HMS Beagle where his ideas on evolution began. We then follow Darwin to Down House, his bustling home of forty years, where he kept porcupine quills at his desk to dissect barnacles, maintained a flock of sixteen pigeon breeds in the dovecote, and cultivated climbing plants in the study, and to Bournemouth, where on one memorable family vacation he fed carnivorous plants in the soup dishes. Using his garden and greenhouse, the surrounding meadows and woodlands, and even taking over the cellar, study, and hallways of his home-turned-field-station, Darwin tested ideas of his landmark theory of evolution with an astonishing array of hands-on experiments that could be done on the fly, without specialized equipment. He engaged naturalists, friends, neighbors, family servants, and even his children, nieces, nephews, and cousins as assistants in these experiments, which involved everything from chasing bees and tempting fish to eat seeds to serenading earthworms. From the experiments results, he plumbed the laws of nature and evidence for the revolutionary arguments of On the Origin of Species and his other watershed works. Beyond Darwin at work, we accompany him against the backdrop of his enduring marriage, chronic illness, grief at the loss of three children, and joy in scientific revelation. This unique glimpse of Darwins life introduces us to an enthusiastic correspondent, crowd-sourcer, family man, and, most of all, an incorrigible observer and experimenter. Includes directions for eighteen hands-on experiments, for home, school, yard, or garden.
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Briary
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I read this in slowly digested bits and enjoyed my time with Darwin, and his bees, and his orchids, and earth worms immensely. The odd little experiments were marvellous and most of all, I enjoyed the different rhythm of the time period. This book did not dwell much on the controvercy, which was nice for a change. Lovely, well-researched and written book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Briary
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Trying to take a photo of my weekend TBR is garnering some audience. Puppies are not very helpful, let me tell you. I now have drool and two squeaky toys on my books.. Oh well.. 😅

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MrBook
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#TBRtemptation post 6! Just released. From Darwin's childhood to the Beagle to his 40-year residence at Down House, we follow the scientist and multitudinous experiments which helped to solidify his thoughts. Directions for 18 of those at-home experiments are provided within the book. Every part of his home had experiments running. He involved colleagues, neighbors, servants, even children for help. A unique approach. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

Readingrobin Ordered for library collection. Hope I get to read it. 2y
BookBabe Looks pretty interesting 👍🏻 2y
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