Charles Darwin: gênio ou um cara simplesmente esforçado???

segunda-feira, maio 30, 2011

Genetics. 2009 November; 183(3): 773–777.
PMCID: PMC2778975

Copyright © 2009 by the Genetics Society of America

Anecdotal, Historical and Critical Commentaries on Genetics

Charles Darwin: Genius or Plodder?

Adam S. Wilkins1
Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 14193 Berlin, Germany
1Address for correspondence: Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Wallotstrasse 19, 14193 Berlin, Germany. E-mail:

This article has been corrected. See Genetics. 2010 February; 184(2): 607.


There is no doubt about the magnitude of Charles Darwin's contributions to science. There has, however, been a long-running debate about how brilliant he was. His kind of intelligence was clearly different from that of the great physicists who are deemed geniuses. Here, the nature of Darwin's intelligence is examined in the light of Darwin's actual style of working. Surprisingly, the world of literature and the field of neurobiology might supply more clues to resolving the puzzle than conventional scientific history. Those clues suggest that the apparent discrepancy between Darwin's achievements and his seemingly pedestrian way of thinking reveals nothing to Darwin's discredit but rather a too narrow and inappropriate set of criteria for "genius." The implications of Darwin's particular creative gifts with respect to the development of scientific genius in general are briefly discussed.