Darwin’s 200th birthday is approaching, and it’s hard to pick up a science magazine without being inundated with the same old references to finches, fossils, and natural selection.
In Reef Madness, science writer (and regular VSL:SCIENCE contributor) David Dobbs examines an obscure but fascinating episode from Darwin’s most formative years — his time as a naturalist aboard the Beagle — and his defining role in solving one of the great mysteries of 19th-century science. Where did coral reefs come from? How could these massive structures simply appear in our oceans? Darwin’s theory of evolution has obscured this earlier achievement — and yet it was here Darwin realized his full potential as the revolutionary thinker who would soon turn his attentions to life on dry land.
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