Executive Director of the Highlands Biological Station and WCU biology professor, James T. Costa will visit City Lights Bookstore on Friday, September 12th at 6:30 p.m. to present his new books celebrating the naturalists Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin. Traveler, explorer, co-discoverer of natural selection and founder of the field of evolutionary biogeography, Wallace was one of the most famous naturalists in the world when he died in 1913, yet has been all but eclipsed by Darwin today.
On the Organic Law of Change (Harvard, 2013) is a facsimile and annotated transcription of Wallace’s Species Notebook, the most important field notebook kept by Wallace during his explorations in southeast Asia in the 1850s. In this never-before-published notebook, Wallace recorded extensive evolutionary arguments and reveals his plans for a book arguing for evolution. In the companion volume, Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species (Harvard, 2014) Costa examines the parallel development of Wallace's and Darwin's thinking on species in the years leading up to publication of Darwin's landmark 1859 work, and critically examines allegations that Darwin and his circle conspired to sideline Wallace while stealing his ideas.
Costa’s elegant edition of the Species Notebook and its concise companion volume provide new perspectives on Wallace’s remarkable quest to solve the mystery of species origins during his legendary expedition to Malaysia, Indonesia, and western New Guinea in the 1850s, and re-asserts Wallace's stature as one of the greatest naturalists of all time.
To reserve copies of On the Organic Law of Change and Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.