On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. For among the finches of Daphne Major, natural selection is neither rare nor slow: it is taking place by the hour, and we can watch.
In this dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research, Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself. The Beak of the Finch is an elegantly written and compelling masterpiece of theory and explication in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould.
"This book is an extraordinary achievement. It is carefully researched, impeccably crafted, unflinchingly dramatic, yet conscientiously scientific."--School Library Journal
"[An] engaging narrative of a modern scientific study that will forever change the way that we view evolution....This is a rare book: The Beak of the Finch is at once absorbing science history, deftly crafted popular science treatise and engagingly personal narrative....It has an important story to tell, not only of Darwin's finches and evolution but also of the way that forefront scientific research is carried out."--The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Evocative writing, exhaustive research, and Weiner's memorable portrait of the engaging Grants assure The Beak of the Finch membership in the select pantheon of science books that spark not just the intellect, but the imagination."--Washington Post Book World
"A brilliant book. It is the best book on life and evolution in many a long year--one of those rare books that permanently alters one's view of nature and even of life and death."--Richard Preston
NOMINEE ALA Best Books for Young Adults WINNER 1995 Pulitzer Prize