In celebration of Darwin in Malibu, which I'm directing at the Generic Theater in March, I am finally reading The Origin of Species and posting chapter-by-chapter summaries and commentary. Part 0 covers the history of the book, plus its title page and introduction.
Part Zero: The Origin of the Origin of Species
Charles Darwin was a naturalist. He was on track to become a doctor, but he proved a rather squeamish medical student, and left medical school for Cambridge to become instead an Anglican priest. His father, a doctor, was disappointed enough by this to say, "You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family." While at Cambridge, he found his true calling: that of a naturalist, an all-around scientist of the natural world (and especially the creatures which inhabited it). "Naturalists" were the progenitors of modern biologists, and like so many very early men of science, the best of them became masters of many disciplines. Naturalists combined aspects of what we know today as biology, botany, entomology, taxonomy, chemistry, geology, and more. Click to read the rest of this entry »
Click to read the rest of this entry »