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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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(p.235) Epilogue
Darwin's Man in Brazil

David A. West

University Press of Florida

Müller’s major publications appeared mainly in specialist journals. His only book, Für Darwin, focuses on crustaceans and is difficult to read; he published no popular or synthetic books. The specialists in scattered fields for whom he wrote, except Darwin, generally had little contact with biologists beyond their disciplines. Thus, few people recognized the wealth of issues and species that Müller addressed. Brazil had no universities and no secure institutional base for evolutionary or natural historical research. Darwinians there were mostly Lamarckians or Haeckelians who applied evolutionary thinking to political and social issues, not biology. Accordingly Müller’s influence on Brazilian biology was mainly posthumous, acquired after institutionalization of evolutionary biology and natural history. As a free thinker, Müller took strong, unpopular positions in both Germany and Brazil, earning many enemies. The range of Müller’s accomplishments covered in this book and his example of fruitful academic collegiality demonstrate the need for further reevaluation of his reputation and his influence on biology.

Keywords:   reputation, biology, natural history, Darwinian, Lamarckian, Haeckelian, Müller, influence, reevaluation, collegiality

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