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Glimpses of Indian Birds

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Title:Glimpses of Indian Birds
Dewar, Douglas   
(4 of 9 for author by title)
Himalayan and Kashmiri birds, being a key to the birds commonly seen in summer in the Himalayas & Kashmir
Bombay Ducks; An Account of Some of the Every-day Birds and Beasts Found in a Naturalist's Eldorado
Published:   1913
Publisher:The Bodley Head
Tags:birds, India, non-fiction, ornithology, reference, science

Excerpt: In the brief sketches that follow I find occasion repeatedly to attack the prevalent theories of protective colouration, because it is impossible for the naturalist who use eyes to accept these theories.

Most of these hypotheses were advanced by field naturalists, but they have since been elaborated by cabinet zoologists and have become a creed. Now, Huxley remarked with truth, "Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed." With equal truth he asserted, "Authorities," 'disciples, ' and 'schools' are the curse of science and do more to interfere with the work of the scientific spirit than all its enemies.

In England zoology is at present in the hands of 'schools' and 'authorities' of the kind to which Huxley objected.

The result is that where, in some of my previous books, I have exposed the shallowness of the prevalent theories, I have been taken to task by certain reviewers who are disciples of those 'authorities.' [Suggest a different description.]

Pages:308 Info

Author Bio for Dewar, Douglas

Douglas Dewar (1875–1957) was a barrister, British civil servant in India, and ornithologist who wrote several books about Indian birds. He wrote widely in newspapers such as The Madras Mail, Pioneer, Times of India and periodicals such as the Civil and Military Gazette and Bird Notes.

Dewar however wrote most on ornithology and wrote numerous books on the birds of India. He particularly favoured the study of birds in life in the field wrote in his Birds of the Plains:

"The ornithological world is peopled by two classes of human beings. There are those who study nature inside the museum with the microscope and scalpel and there are those who live to observe birds In the open and study their habits."

He accuses the museum ornithologists of needlessly multiplying new species and altering names, too much attention being paid to local variations.

In his early education, he had been taught the ideas of evolution and was half-hearted in his acceptance of the principles. Although his early works on ornithology seemed to accept ideas of adaptation and selection, he later became a creationist and published a number of books and debates attacking evolution, and was the founding secretary-treasurer in the Evolution Protest Movement in 1932 along with Bernard Acworth and Lewis Merson Davies, jointly known as the Acworth Circle. He leaned towards the idea of old earth creationism but questioned radiometric dating. His book, The Transformist Illusion published posthumously in 1957 attempted to show the failure of evolution using examples such as the infinitesimal probability of proteins arising out of random mixing, the fossil record, bird anatomy, blood group incompatibilities, and queried evolutionary claims in embryology and vestigial organs. Reviewers pointed out the problems in his objections.--Wikipedia.

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