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Charles Darwin’s curiosity had a remarkable childlike enthusiasm driven by an almost compulsive appetite for a constant process of discovery, which he never satiated despite his many voyages. He would puzzle about the smallest things, from the wonders of barnacles to the different shapes, colours and textures of the beetles which he obsessively collected, from flowers and stems to birds, music and language, and would dedicate years to understanding the potential significance of everything he saw.
Darwin’s findings and theories relied heavily on that same curiosity, on seeking and answering questions, however long these would take to clarify. His son Francis Darwin often recalls how “he would ask himself ‘now what do you want to say’ & his answer written down would often disentangle the confusion”. In fact, “disentangling confusions” seems to have been the driving force behind Darwin’s scientific pursuits, as he was struck with bewilderment when contemplating the luxuriousness of life. It was also the impetus for this book.
The true implications of Darwin’s legacy remain as controversial to the critics of our time as they were to his contemporaries. Darwin’s impact within and beyond the biological sciences is both daunting and exhilarating, and attests to the need for an interdisciplinary approach by remaining a challenge to many scholars in the most diverse fields. The recent revival of his theories has opened a Pandora’s box of different theoretical studies that are particularly receptive to exploring new and exciting angles of research.