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Science

Bioepiphanies

The first time it happened was a hot August day in Maryland, the kind where the nicotine-saturated air inside the tiny, heavily air-conditioned house seemed to vie with the humidity and traffic haze outside, each competing to be more noxious than the other. Late in the afternoon, as I left for my night shift summer […]

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Science

The Galàpagos Islands

For a modern reader, the most surprising thing about the Gal├ápagos Islands chapter in Charles Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle is probably its brevity. Darwin describes the apparently recent volcanic origin of the place, runs through a quick list of its notable species, includes a figure of some finches’ beaks, and then departs for Tahiti. […]