Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Review of "The Tree Of Life," by Peter Sis

Review of

The Tree Of Life, by Peter Sis ISBN 9780374456283

Five out of five stars

 Charles Darwin literally used evolution to produce a revolution in scientific thought. Despite the overwhelming evidence in favor of the evolution of species, it is a battle that continues to be fought. Debates still take place in the United States over whether it should even be taught in the public schools. This book is a brief biography of Charles Darwin and there are some very disturbing notes.

 Using excerpts from Darwin’s diary as well as facts about the “Beagle” and entries from the ship’s log, maps and images, this is a short but excellent rendition of the life of Darwin. It is also a look into his thought processes as he converted his observations and experiences into a sound and justified scientific theory.

There are also passages about how Darwin explored the lands that he visited. An expedition up into the Andes to 12,000 feet, crossing the Andes through the Portillo Pass, climbing Mount Wellington in Tasmania and camping on the open plains.

 Along with his work that led to his theory, Darwin puts down some notes that are unfortunately historically accurate. There are the sentences, “Meet General Rosas – hired by Argentinian government to exterminate the Indians. I am a witness but can do nothing.” While describing his experiences in Australia, there are the two journal entries, “Again troubled by the treatment of aborigines” and “Wherever the European would tread, death seems to pursue the aboriginal.”

 This is the best book about the life and scientific work of Charles Darwin written for young people that I have ever encountered. It is a work that can and should be read by people of all ages and is a worthy addition to all libraries.

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