The Beak of the Finch: Story of Evolution in Our Time
For all that has been said and written about it, evolution has always been - necessarily - theoretical, a matter of fossils demonstrating slow change ... Show synopsis For all that has been said and written about it, evolution has always been - necessarily - theoretical, a matter of fossils demonstrating slow change over many millenia. No longer. For twenty years, in an extraordinary ongoing study as intensive and demanding as George Schaller's work with lions in the Serengeti or Jane Goodall's with the chimps of the Gombe, biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant have been observing the various species of finches on the tiny volcanic island of Dapne Major in the Galapagos. They are now able to say that they have actually seen evolution taking place before their eyes. In "The Beak of the Finch", Jonathan Weiner tells the Grants' story for the first time, and goes on to show how their findings have led scientists into studying evolution in still more surprising sub-microscopic realms, where with new techniques they may soon be able to watch DNA evolve. The synthesis of genetics and evolution, in fact, has suddenly become one of the most important new target areas in modern biology.