Darwin and His Bears
Frank J. Sulloway
Foreword by Michael Shermer
Hardcover · 6.125″ × 9.25″ · 192 pages
Science/Evolution · 90 four-color illustrations by the author · $26.95
Publication date: October 8, 2021
Delightful and deeply informative, Darwin and His Bears by scientist and Darwin scholar Frank J. Sulloway imaginatively recounts the fabled adventure of Darwin’s groundbreaking visit to “a shore fit for Pandemonium,” as Beagle Captain Robert FitzRoy described the Galápagos on their arrival in 1835. As Darwin marveled at the swarms of “hideous-looking” marine iguanas, tame birds, giant land tortoises, lava, and spiny cactus, he asked himself: How had life first come to these harsh islands?
In Darwin and His Bears, Sulloway reveals a crucial—yet little known—link that led to Darwin’s development of the theory of evolution: sixteen brilliant little bears residing on the sixteen archipelago islands. As Sulloway brings to life the story of Darwin’s scientific triumph, he also reveals the critical conceptual steps by which Darwin reached his theory of evolution by natural selection—and provides, according to philosopher Philip Kitcher, “a brilliant summary and explanation of large swaths of evolutionary theory.”
Ninety colorful drawings by the author introduce us to the whip-smart, magnanimous bears whose invaluable assistance helped Darwin to fully understand his evidence—and answer the heated scholarly debate that it met upon its completion—ultimately culminating in what we now celebrate as the Darwinian revolution.