A Natural Selection

John M. Burns (Author)


BioGraffiti is a highly diverting mix of the whimsical and scholarly, of science and art. It will be read—and reread—by those interested in biology and life.” —Paul R. Ehrlich

Legend has it (it may even be true) that J. B. S. Haldane, when asked by a clergyman what he could infer about God from the works of creation, responded, “He must have had an inordinate fondness for beetles.” Were I asked to infer something essential about Homo sapiens from his work, I should probably reply that this zoological odd-ball required humor to lighten a life taken too seriously. How else can we explain the fact that very profession has its underground classic of humorous self-deprecation and verse? Garstang’s Larval Forms has long filled this role for evolutionary biology. But, as a residual Victorian, Garstang turned out some mighty stuffy poems—and recapitulatory theory of the details of invertebrate morphology do no reside on the frontier of modern biology. But voyeurs and hedonists can now rejoice, for John Burns has produced a worthy successor, a work full of all that is modern in evolutionary biology—mathematical modeling, ecological strategies, ethological theories and, oh yes, plenty of sex.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • March 1981
  • ISBN 978-0-393-00031-3
  • 5 × 8 in
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

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