What-if history of science: Peter J. Bowler: Darwin deleted: Imagining a world without Darwin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013, ix+318pp, $30.00 HB

Metascience 24 (1):5-24 (2015)


Alan C. LoveDarwinian calisthenicsAn athlete engages in calisthenics as part of basic training and as a preliminary to more advanced or intense activity. Whether it is stretching, lunges, crunches, or push-ups, routine calisthenics provide a baseline of strength and flexibility that prevent a variety of injuries that might otherwise be incurred. Peter Bowler has spent 40 years doing Darwinian calisthenics, researching and writing on the development of evolutionary ideas with special attention to Darwin and subsequent filiations among scientists exploring evolution . Therefore, we would expect that when Bowler engages in a counterfactual history—imagining a world without Darwin—he is able to avoid historical injury and generate novel insights. My assessment is that the results are mixed. Before we can see why, it is necessary to walk briskly through the main contours of his argument.Bowler begins with an apologia for a counterfactual appr ..

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Author Profiles

Alan Love
University of Minnesota
Robert Richards
University of Chicago

References found in this work

Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior.Daniel C. Dennett - 1989 - Journal of the History of Biology 22 (2):361-367.
Evolution: The History of an Idea.Peter J. Bowler - 1985 - Journal of the History of Biology 18 (1):155-157.
Replaying Life’s Tape.John Beatty - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (7):336-362.

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