The thing I found most interesting this chapter was the hardships Darwin faced during his voyages. Being the most important figure in evolutionary history it is easy to regard him only for his work; learning about his challenges humanizes him as a whole.Unlike other Europeans, Darwin and his group managed to build lasting relationships and communication with Native Americans. Although they faced occasional hostility it was a much better relationship than some of the other Europeans had created. Ch 2I thought that Mr.
Wallace was an intriguing character due to his relationship to the natives. His interactions were insightful and intelligent as he worked with a hostile chief and established the start of relationships. Because Darwin and Wallace were different they each provided insight into the trip.
With unique ideas there are almost always better outcomes overall and Wallace helped balance Darwin’s reserved and observational personality.Ch 3I found Carroll’s comparison of “It was the best of times, It was the worst of times” with Darwin funny. He lived every day in his paradise, observing animals and being one with the wildlife, while the worst of times was when he got split up from Wallace.I found it a bit odd that Bates became the butterfly expert. At first he was simply financially motivated however eventually he realized the beauty in the specimens he was selling and started his own research through passion.Ch 4Carroll starts the chapter with a brief history of the impact of Darwin’s The origin of Species. I really enjoyed this because by recalling Darwin’s work the reader can put things in perspective and helps in the understanding of Sean’s discoveries later on.Page 82 highlighted just how influential Darwin’s discoveries were/are, and how at that time they weren’t accepted.
Sean states that Darwin avoided discussing the origin of species so he didn’t start any controversy around his work. I find the fact that some work is disregarded because of the time period or people that make the discovery sadining. One would think that all work should be taken seriously if there is factual evidence.
Ch 5The stories of how some biologist chose their professions quite interesting. For example, Walcott lived in New York and lost his father to the Civil War when he was young. A few decades later and he is a fossil enthusiast.
I found this interesting because it shows that many biologists come from humble beginnings.It is fascinating that trilobite is the main evolutionary marker in terms of fossils. Trilobites became extremely instrumental in paleontology, as they could tell so much about certain areas of land and water just due to the fossil’s characteristics. Even Darwin was once fearful for the lack of trilobites in an area.Ch 6This chapter demonstrates the inter-race culture of Biologists.
Roy worked with many different races and formed mutualistic relationships with each rae. There didn’t seem to be a Cold War arms race, every biologist wants to work together towards a similar goal.Roy’s tracing of the mammal history made this chapter a page turner. They were everywhere, from whales to mammoths and from every continent, respectively. Roy’s passion rubbed off onto me and I was intrigued to learn more of the mammalian ancestry and the entertaining paths it creates. Ch 7With my passion for music I enjoy the title, ‘The Day the Mesozoic Died’ as it is potentially a nod to “The Day the Music Died” in 1959, when a few famous musicians died in a plane crash. This signaled the end of the happy 50’s and the beginning of the more solemn 60’s era.
This chapter also talks about the K-T boundary. As we learned in class this was a key piece of evidence that the dinosaurs were killed by an asteroid at once and this layer is a layer of minerals in the earth that consists of the materials only found in asteroids. Ch 8Carroll describes how dinosaurs were not always the holy grail of paleontology which I found interesting considering I always thought so and dinosaurs were such a large part of my childhood.
They are everywhere in media and are marketed to children because they are so diverse. It’s interesting to learn that this frame of view has only been created in the past 70 years.Connecting dinosaurs to birds seems like the most important idea in this chapter. Obviously from a first glance dinos and birds don’t seem related because one can fly and the other can’t.
However, one the skeletons and phylums are compared, obvious similarities make themselves visible between birds and dinos.Ch 9Tiktaalik are another evolutionary hallmark. This as we learned in class and in the book is the first animal the got out of the water to see what land was all about. This animal looked kind of like an alligator and was a large evolutionary step.
Tiktaalik represents so much more than just the first animal out of water. The evolutionary process the comes with this organism is incredible. How can this animal venture out of the water after spending millions of years in the water as previous ancestors. This is an incredible and intriguing process.Ch 10This chapter marks the fact that humans are separate from other animals. We have the ability to create tools and have advanced thoughts.
As humans become more inventive our tools become more and more advanced and get us further in life. This is an incredible adaptation.The Story of Louis and Mary was fascinating. They’re both extremely passionate and they traveled all over Africa looking for tools used by early humans. The part where they ran across the field to find each other so they could converse about the fossils they found was funny and kept the book entertaining.
Ch 11The ‘Pauling’ guy was extremely interesting. He was integral in the Cold War and WWII, and is a key part of history during that time. He worked numerous projects from new bombs to blood transfusions. Carroll started this chapter with a summary of his life and his life story kept me hooked for the whole chapter.
Zuckerkandl, who worked with Pauling used an interesting technique to determine the amino acid chains in different animals. He was one of the first to find connections between the chimpanzee and humans. This provided evidence that proteins have a factor to play in evolution on a level we hadn’t previously thought. As we know proteins are greatly important.Ch 12Carroll spent some time discussing Neanderthals and our history involving them. Obviously, they are similar to humans but in reading this I learned that my understanding of Neanderthals is limited and I would love to learn more. Did we coexist with them or was it a straight evolutionary chart.
This was an intriguing topic for me to read about.The quote from Wilson “living genes must have ancestors, whereas dead fossils may not have descendants.” was a reminder of the imperfection in the Evolutionary process and this book overall. Evolution makes mistakes just as people do, however the mistakes make the system better, as people learn from their failures so does evolution.
This shows that the animal kingdom has and will only grow stronger as time passes through evolution.