In The Abolition of Man (1944), C. S. Lewis called for a "regenerate science" that would "not explain away" when it explained and "remember the whole" when it treated the parts. This introduction to natural history responds to Lewis' call by instilling in the beginning student of biology a love for the beauty and intelligibility of the animal kingdom through the eyes of the classical naturalists. The writers whose works are presented here, including John James Audubon and Jean-Henri Fabre, were some of the greatest observational biologists of all time. They remain useful guides, for the advances in biological science that have happened since they wrote cannot invalidate our first-hand experience of organisms as unified living beings.
Nature's Beautiful Order is intended for all students from the 6th through the 8th grades and will also be a fitting supplement for higher-level instruction in biology. In eighteen lessons, students are led through the animal kingdom from the invertebrate animals through the five great vertebrate classes to the culmination of the natural order, a consideration of man as the knowing animal and as a steward of Creation.
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