Monday, February 09, 2009

Five best books about Charles Darwin

James A. Secord, the editor of Darwin's Evolutionary Writings (Oxford, 2008), is the director of the Darwin Correspondence Project and professor of the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University.

One book on his list:
Darwin Loves You
by George Levine
Princeton, 2006

Does Darwinism strip the world of meaning, reducing life to cutthroat competition and cold calculation? Fundamentalist atheists and evangelical Christians generally agree that it does, but such a perspective is far too narrow. In this highly personal book, the literary historian George Levine argues that Darwin's work, with its generous language that invites interpretation, has the potential to create aesthetic and moral value. Darwin writes of flying squirrels, pouting pigeons, peacocks' tails and the instincts of ants. But he also encourages wonder at small things, gradual forces and the power of individual action in a world of life and possibility.
Read about another title on Secord's list.

The Page 69 Test: Darwin Loves You.

--Marshal Zeringue