November 14, 1904-December 16, 1983
BY EDWARD O. WILSON
AMONG THE MOST ADMIRABLE of scientists are the naturalist explorers who return from arduous journeys to study their specimens, to reflect, and to build new theories of classification and evolution. Linnaeus, back from Lapland and Oland, was the eighteenth century exemplar. In the nineteenth century Darwin, Wallace, and Bates repeated the pattern on a more global scale. In our own time, Philip Jackson Darlington carried on the tradition. A tough explorer, he influenced the style and thinking of current field zoologists. An equally tough and original scientist, he transformed accepted wisdom regarding the way animals evolved and came to be distributed over the land.
Like most major naturalists, Darlington grew up one. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 14, 1904, and spent most of his childhood in Hartford, Connecticut. With an inventive engineer for a father and a schoolteacher mother, his family environment was conducive to a life of the mind.
Everyone in his family was active in gardening and the study of local natural history, especially flowering plants and birds. Summers were spent at Penobscot Bay in Maine and