No one in this century can speak with greater authority on the progress of ideas in biology than Ernst Mayr. And no book has ever established the life sciences so firmly in the mainstream of Western intellectual history as The Growth of Biological Thought. Ten years in preparation, this is a work of epic proportions, tracing the development of the major problems of biology from the earliest attempts to find order in the diversity of life to modern research into the mechanisms of gene transmission.
Mayr's book is a book of great erudition and insight. No other single volume offers such an extensive account of the history of the subjects in question while providing as penetrating a view of the nature of these subjects.
This solid book…is essential reading for everyone at all interested in evolution, in biology or its history, or in science in general.
Professor Mayr has written a monumental history of biological ideas…[It is] a marvelous course in evolution, taught historically. For a reader who is willing to make the effort, this book provides one of the best and most nearly complete discussions of these ideas to be found anywhere. It is an example of those rare books in popular science which can teach scientists as well as laymen…[This book] is full of insights and historical revelations. Nothing quite like The Growth of Biological Thought has been attempted before. It is a book that could have been written only by a scientist in complete command of his subject.
This is an extraordinary, epic work in which Mayr once again shows himself a master of detail, interpretation, and synthesis.
Mayr concentrates on scientific problems and concepts, placing them in the intellectual milieu of each historical period…Tightly drawn, highly opinionated presentations are invaluable in science, and Mr. Mayr's [book] is certainly provocative.
The Growth of Biological Thought will be a richly rewarding experience…Mayr's vivid manner, his clear analytical distinctions, his candor in meeting controversial issues head on, make his discussions as stimulating as they are valuable.
It is full of insights and historical revelations. Nothing quite like The Growth of Biological Thought has been attempted before. It is a book that could have been written only by a scientist in complete command of his subject.
- 992 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Belknap Press
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