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Darwin's Man in BrazilThe Evolving Science of Fritz Müller$
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David A. West

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062600

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062600.001.0001

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The Countenance of Nature Transformed, 1861–1869

The Countenance of Nature Transformed, 1861–1869

(p.58) 3 The Countenance of Nature Transformed, 1861–1869
Darwin's Man in Brazil

David A. West

University Press of Florida

In reaction to Darwin’s On theOrigin of Species, which he read in October 1861, Müller reorganized his ongoing research on crustacea. One result was his Für Darwin, published in 1864, utilizing detailed crustacean research. Müller applied Darwin’s theory of natural selection to crustaceans, yielding some novel predictions, some of which he subsequently verified. Müller showed that crustacean embryology provided a partial guide to crustacean genealogy, demonstrated that genealogical thinking resolved puzzles in the chaotic taxonomy of crustaceans, defended Darwin’s theory against several common objections, and demonstrated its superiority to special creationist alternatives. Darwin responded to Für Darwin with high praise and instigated an English translation of the book. He initiated correspondence with Müller, in which they discussed applications and extensions of Darwin’s theories and directions for further fieldwork. Für Darwin initially drew a generally tepid reception, with severe reviews from some critics. The chapter closes by comparing Müller’s evaluations of Darwin’s theory with those of Ernst Haeckel and August Weismann.

Keywords:   Für Darwin, Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, crustacean, biology, genealogy, embryology, taxonomy, Ernst Haeckel, August Weismann

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