Storming the Fortress

  • John Maynard Smith


To write a history of the world, a man would have to be slightly crazy. He would have to be possessed by some single idea which, he believed, could illuminate the whole course of history, and in the light of which all events could be judged. To write a history of biological thought, particularly one confined to thoughts about biological diversity rather than physiological mechanism, is a less ambitious undertaking, and Ernst Mayr is certainly not crazy. But the task is sufficiently formidable, and Mayr has succeeded at it only because he does indeed have single, unified vision, which he uses to evaluate scholars, from Aristotle to Theodosius Dobzhansky and R. A. Fisher.


Gene Substitution Modern Synthesis Galapagos Island Unify Vision Creative Mind 
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© John Maynard Smith 1988

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  • John Maynard Smith

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