332 pages, Illus
This extraordinary book is both a study of the finches of the Galapagos and their evolution, an account of the adventures of Peter and Rosemary Grant and their ingenious and meticulous work on the islands, and a general exploration of modern research in the field. The book begins with the Grants' research, which has now lasted more than twenty years, and has demonstrated natural selection operating and revealing changes over generations, not over millennia as Darwin originally supposed. Coupled with this kind of research is the current trend in evolutionary biology to analyse sub-microscopic particles, including those of the finches of the Galapagos. Using this method one can actually see DNA evolve, and manipulate and accelerate evolution itself. Thus, as well as being a book which follows the lives of two unique researchers it offers an insight into the way in which their research may, in part, alter the way in which we observe, react to, and utilise the rest of nature.
`This is a work of huge fascination and importance. It has every chance of becoming a classic.' - Nigel Hawkes, The Times
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