DARWIN’S SECOND VOYAGE: AN EVOLUTIONARY ODYSSEY
Independently Published (2019)
Reviewed by Robert Leon Davis for Reader Views (02/2020)
For five dedicated years Charles Darwin traveled throughout South America in the 1800’s. His now famous travel to the Galapagos Islands is well-known to many in the scientific community, as well as many people at large. The five years that he traveled on a ship called “The Beagle” was the last trip he had taken during his life. He returned to England and wrote extensively about what he learned on his odyssey. But imagine if Darwin could have made a second trip, not just to South America again but maybe some other locale? What else could he have possibly observed and learned about the world? Would he have concluded something else as important as natural selection?
“Darwin’s Second Voyage, an Evolutionary Odyssey,” written by John Dahl, visits this imaginary odyssey through his travels abroad. An interesting undergraduate program called “Semester at Sea” gives the students a peep into this important question. The program is at sea, while visiting various countries and other exotic locales. This program is usually around 100 days in length (a semester), and credit is given to students after the trip to assist them with their future vocations. The author is an Associate Professor at a prominent university and presented his course as an “evolutionary devotional” while celebrating one of the greatest ideas of all time; evolution by natural selection!
The first and most important statement I will make about this book is that any serious student interested in such fields as Biology, Microbiology, Archaeology, Ornithology (Birds), Entomology (insects), Ichthyology (Fish), and the many ancillary vocations should read this book. Matter of fact, I believe it should be introduced to any and all students from high school to college studies as require reading. Yes, the material is just that educational! It’s also loaded with many surprising facts for the ordinary laymen… like me.
“Darwin’s Second Voyage- An Evolutionary Odyssey” is filled with many factual and now proven statements about the natural selection processes of many living organisms. The book is also filled with pictures and diagrams to help guide the laymen or professional as he explains each process. He explains and organizes through his book and courses at sea what Darwin might “take” from this present world today. I can’t divulge the many highlights of this book as it would almost be criminal to reveal and rob the reader from the volume of facts. In addition, the book contains a full glossary of terms, research items, etc., that the reader can refer to. Lastly, the pace and cadence of the book is simply written at a nice pace and the syntax is very appealing. “Darwin’s Second Voyage- An Evolutionary Odyssey” by John Dahl is easily 5 stars!