Friday, September 19, 2014

My Year of Darwin 9/19/2014: Yea, we're cool Wallace.. just don't go there

 Charles Darwin

"may all your theories succeed, except that on oceanic islands, on which subject I will do battle to the death"  Charles Darwin, Letter to Alfred R. Wallace, December 1857

The geologist Charles Lyell, convinced the world that sea levels rose and fell over the eons. Biogeographers jumped on this idea to explain distributions of organisms. The popular hypothesis was that colonization abilities were poor and organisms moved by land bridges that appeared and disappeared. 

And Darwin was, like, "that's bullshit."

What is well known is Darwin's work with pigeons and barnacles but he put a tremendous amount of time into looking at dispersal ability. Soaking seeds in sea water, shooting ducks and looking at the mud on their feet for seeds. It fit well with his ideas on evolution, and by Job he's sticking with it. 

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