Sign In

I Wonder, Issue 4, Jan 2018


On 27th December, 1831, after much delay, a ship lifted anchor from Barn Pool, near Davenport, England. Soon to become one of the most famous ships in history, it was headed on a two year expedition to conduct a hydrographic survey of the southern coasts of South America. Just before it set out, the captain of the ship, a 24-year old aristocrat, gave his companion, a 22-year old naturalist, a copy of a recently published book. Little could he have imagined the profound impact that this simple action would have on his companion’s life or on our understanding of the natural world.

The ship was the HMS Beagle. It was commandeered by Captain Robert FitzRoy, who was already making a name for himself as an able leader and a meticulous surveyor. The young naturalist was Charles Darwin. Nearly rejected by FitzRoy because the shape of his nose seemed to indicate a lack of determination, Darwin seemed well-suited for this role in every other way.As the grandson of Erasmus Darwin, a well-known philosopher, he fit FitzRoy’s criteria of being a ‘gentleman’. Six feet tall, with a tendency to stoop, and an abiding interest in natural history, Darwin nurtured a keen desire to visit the tropics once, before he became a parson.
       Pdf format Click here

The book that FitzRoy had handed him was called the ‘Principles of Geology’ and marked an important transition in the career of its first-time author, the Scottish aristocrat Charles Lyell. Lyell had turned to geology after his attempt to become a barrister was scuttled by his deteriorating eyesight. In his book, Lyell used an evidence-based approach to argue that all great geological changes, historical as well as current, were the outcome of a gradual process of accumulation of minute changes over long time spans. Although Darwin had initially found classes in geology dull, he had developed a strong interest in the subject on a field-trip with Adam Sedgewick, one of the founders of modern geology. Reading Lyell’s book, and later seeing rock formations at the Cape Verde islands through ‘Lyell’s eyes’, left a lasting impression on Darwin’s long-standing reflections on the origins of species.

Needless to say, this issue of iwonder is centered on evolution, a concept that today is almost synonymous with Charles Darwin. However, in a strange but fitting way, the word evolution, derived from the Latin ‘evolvere’, was originally used to refer to the ‘unrolling of a book’. And it was, in fact, Charles Lyell who first used this term with its modern meaning – twenty-seven years before Darwin used it once in the final paragraph of his ‘On the Origin of Species’. Thus, it is Lyell’s notion that ‘the present is the key to the past’, a key first principle in almost every field of science, which is the underlying thread linking the articles in this issue – from the evolution of stars and the Earth to that of living organisms, humans, or even the phenomenon of ocean acidification. Join us in this exploration, and don’t forget to share your thoughts with us at iwonder.editor@azimpremjifoundation.org.

   
Editorial



Editors Desk
 

Evolution



The Evolution of Stars
Anand Narayanan

 
 
Major Events In The Earths Evolution
S. Mohana Kumar

 
POSTER – EVOLUTION OF STARS
ANAND NARAYANAN

 
  POSTER – EARTH EVOLUTION
HOWARD HUGHES MEDICAL INSTITUTE, MARYLAND, US

 
         
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
Avinash Kumar

 
  BOOKLET
LUCA, Version 4.01 – Rohini Chintha

 
POSTER – HUMAN EVOLUTION
AVINASH KUMAR


Discover

POSTER – ARCTIC SEA-FLOOR FAUNA
GEETHA IYER

 
  POSTER – OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
TEJAS JOSHI

 
POSTER – CORPSE ECOSYSTEMS
GEETHA IYER

 
  POSTER – THE HARD PROBLEM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
REETEKA SUD

 

I am A Scientist



Interview With Sudha Rajamani
Sudha Rajamani

 

The Science Lab



Unravelling Physics Through Simple Experiments
G S Rautela

 

Annals Of History



The Tree Of Life: The Powerful Mathematical Idea At The Heart Of Evolution
Mukund Thattai

 

Research To Practice



To See A World: Using Multiple Metaphors In Science Education
K. K. Mashood, Rohit Mehta & Punya Mishra

 

Teaching As If The Earth Matters



Learning About Soil: Student's Voices
Santosh Kumar

 
 

Getting To The Soul Of Soil
Radha Gopalan

 
  POSTER – WHY SOIL MICROORGANISMS ARE ESSENTIAL
RADHA GOPALAN

 
  ACTIVITY SHEETS – LOOKING FOR HUMUS - I & II
RADHA GOPALAN

 

The Science Teacher At Work



The Exploration Of Biology Through Art
 

Life In Your Backyard



Spiders: The Weavers And Stalkers Amongst Us
Vena Kapoor & Divya Uma

 
POSTER – SOME BIZARRE HABITS OF SPIDERS
VENA KAPOOR & DIVYA UMA

 
VENA KAPOOR & DIVYA UMA
 

Book Review



Wild In The Backyard
Nimesh Ved

 

Biography



The Indomitable Evolutionist: Lynn Margulis
Meenakshi Pant

 

Science Communication



ABT: All You Need To Know To Tell Stories
Randy Olson

 

Out There



Walking On The Moon
Ramgopal (RAMG) Vallath

 



> View Next: Student journal of Education and Development