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A Finished Task: Darwin’s Treatise on Coral Reefs

Alistair Sponsel

in Darwin's Evolving Identity: Adventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
September 2018
ISBN:
9780226523118
eISBN:
9780226523255
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.003.0011
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter analyzes the content and strategy of Darwin’s 1842 book, The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs. It was not the grand synthetic geological treatise he had originally envisioned ... More


Darwin’s Audacity, Lyell’s Choreography

Alistair Sponsel

in Darwin's Evolving Identity: Adventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
September 2018
ISBN:
9780226523118
eISBN:
9780226523255
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.003.0008
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter reveals the dazzling strategy underlying the content and presentation of Darwin’s 1837 Geological Society paper on the formation of coral reefs. While the paper might appear in ... More


The Making of a Eureka Moment

Alistair Sponsel

in Darwin's Evolving Identity: Adventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
September 2018
ISBN:
9780226523118
eISBN:
9780226523255
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.003.0005
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter explains how Darwin came to have a moment of insight about coral reef formation while at Tahiti in November 1835. Sponsel argues that this eureka moment depended on Darwin’s ability to ... More


The Surveyor-Naturalist

Alistair Sponsel

in Darwin's Evolving Identity: Adventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
September 2018
ISBN:
9780226523118
eISBN:
9780226523255
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.003.0006
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter examines the two instances when Darwin had the opportunity to research coral reefs in the field, at the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in April 1836 and at Mauritius the following month. The ... More


Darwin’s Opportunity

Alistair Sponsel

in Darwin's Evolving Identity: Adventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
September 2018
ISBN:
9780226523118
eISBN:
9780226523255
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.003.0002
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter opens part 1 of the book, “Theorizing on the Move,” by examining three major contexts or sources for Darwin’s ambition as a prospective naturalist. First, it describes the existence of a ... More


Lyell Claims Darwin as a Student

Alistair Sponsel

in Darwin's Evolving Identity: Adventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
September 2018
ISBN:
9780226523118
eISBN:
9780226523255
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.003.0007
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This initial chapter of part 2, “Training in Theory,” analyzes Darwin’s late-voyage scientific ambitions and his return to seek a place in the British geological community. It also introduces part ... More


Studying Dry Land with a Maritime Perspective

Alistair Sponsel

in Darwin's Evolving Identity: Adventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
September 2018
ISBN:
9780226523118
eISBN:
9780226523255
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.003.0004
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter argues that Darwin’s theoretical insights on the geology and paleontology of South America were made possible by his experience with maritime surveying on the continent’s Atlantic and ... More


Introduction

Alistair Sponsel

in Darwin's Evolving Identity: Adventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
September 2018
ISBN:
9780226523118
eISBN:
9780226523255
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.003.0001
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This introduction forecasts the book’s main argument, that caution was not Charles Darwin’s original attitude toward publishing, and lays out what is at stake in examining Darwin’s self-fashioning as ... More


Darwin's Evolving Identity: Adventure, Ambition, and the Sin of Speculation

Alistair Sponsel

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
September 2018
ISBN:
9780226523118
eISBN:
9780226523255
Item type:
book
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226523255.001.0001
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This book offers a new explanation for Charles Darwin’s apparent caution in publishing On the Origin of Species, which appeared more than two decades after he privately developed his first theories ... More


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