“The ultimate guide to take on a voyage of your own Beagle.”
—AMY TAN, author, The Joy Luck Club
“Highly original, and it deserves wide attention . . .”
—Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist EDWARD O. WILSON
“The funnest science book I’ve ever read.”
—JACK HORNER, paleontologist, MacArthur Fellow, and author of How to Build a Dinosaur: The New Science of Reverse Evolution
How Darwin Bear and His Galápagos Islands Friends Inspired a Scientific Revolution
Frank J. Sulloway
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.
“This work, coming from Frank Sulloway, is highly original, and it deserves wide attention. I wish him and the bears, and the ghost of Darwin, wide success.”
—EDWARD O. WILSON, two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning author, evolutionary biologist, and conservationist
“Darwin Bear may often be stuffed with blueberries, but he is never stuffy in talking about his colleague Charles Darwin and the science behind species and environment. This is the ultimate guide to take on a voyage of your own Beagle.”
—AMY TAN, author of The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter
“Frank Sulloway’s revisionist description, in absolutely charming text and drawings, will set you thinking and will bring a persistent smile to your face as you read this wonderful book.”
—ROALD HOFFMANN, poet, playwright, and Nobel Prize–winning chemist
“A brilliant summary and explanation of large swaths of evolutionary theory.”
—PHILIP KITCHER, philosopher and author of The Advancement of Science and Living with Darwin
“Let Frank Sulloway’s delightful fantasy of talking bears lead you through the story of Charles Darwin’s visit to the Galápagos Islands and the development of his evolutionary theory. These sixteen bears know everything there is to know!”
—JANET BROWNE, past president of the History of Science Society and author of Charles Darwin: A Biography
“Darwin and His Bears is delicious! It is funny, sarcastic at times, includes good science, describes how to do science, and is appropriately argumentative in places. Where else can you read about island geography, the evolution of species, survival of the fattest, psicko-analysis, and tortoise racing in the same book? Extraordinarily clever.”
—LOUIS A. SHERMAN, Fellow of the American Society of Microbiology and of AAAS; Professor, Purdue University Department of Biological Sciences
Frank J. Sulloway, PhD, is an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also a member of the Institute of Personality and Social Research. His PhD is in the history of science from Harvard University (1978) and he is a MacArthur Fellow (1984). Dr. Sulloway has published extensively on the life and theories of Charles Darwin. His research has taken him to the Galápagos Islands seventeen times, and he has published numerous studies on the behavior and evolution of Darwin’s iconic Galápagos finches. Dr. Sulloway is the author of the New York Times Notable Book of the Year Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives (1996). His pioneering research has been featured on a variety of national television shows, including Nightline, The Today Show, Dateline NBC, Charlie Rose, and The Colbert Report. He is also the author of Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (1979), which received the Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society.