The Animal Behavior Podcast

S3E1 William Kimler on Darwin and Chapter 7 of the Origin

June 05, 2023 Season 3 Episode 1
The Animal Behavior Podcast
S3E1 William Kimler on Darwin and Chapter 7 of the Origin
Show Notes

In the first episode of Season 3, we kick off our new miniseries, "Foundations of Animal Behavior" in a conversation between Matthew and Darwin scholar and intellectual historian Dr. William Kimler. We recommend that you read Chapter 7 either before or after this conversation.

Here is the version (1st edition) that William and Matthew reference, starting on page 207 of the text (page 114 of the pdf):

William first describes the social and intellectual context in which the Origin was written, including a description of natural theology and Darwin's own movement away from theology as a personal motivation in his work.

William steps us through five excerpts from Chapter 7, describing additional context and meaning that might otherwise be missed by a first (or tenth!) time reader of the chapter.

After the break, they discuss William's path from field ecologist to intellectual historian and what he sees as the value in connecting history and science. William pursues this goal as director of the Jefferson Scholars program at North Carolina State University.

Here are the books that William suggests any aspiring readers of Darwin, likely available at your local or university library:

  • On the Origin of Species, 1st edition:
  • The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, with Introduction by John Tyler Bonne and Robert M May:
  • The Darwinian Heritage: See Chapter 12 for the work by Janet Browne that William describes:
  • The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought. See Chapter 20 for the essay by Gregory Radick that William references.
  • Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior by Robert J Richards:

This week's Two Minute Takeaway came from Caleb Hazel, PhD candidate and philosopher of science at Duke University.  Learn more about Caleb and his work on his website

Credits: The Animal Behavior Podcast is created by a team of animal behavior researchers and audio professionals. Come meet us here! We receive production support from the Cornell Broadcast studio directed by Bert Odom-Reed, and financial support from the Animal Behavior Society.