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Charles Darwin: The Man and his Influence (Cambridge Science Biographies)

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9780521566681: Charles Darwin: The Man and his Influence (Cambridge Science Biographies)
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Darwin's enormous influence on science and culture, begun during his lifetime, is still very evident today. The Origin of Species excited much debate and controversy, challenging the foundations of Christianity, yet underpinning the Victorian concept of progress, and today still evokes powerful and contradictory responses. Yet he was not first to publish evolutionary ideas and his theory of natural selection was not accepted by many of his contemporaries. Peter Bowler's study of Darwin's life and influence combines biography and cultural history. He shows how Darwin's contemporaries were unable to appreciate precisely those aspects of his thinking that are considered scientifically important today. Darwin was a product of his time, but he also transcended it, by creating an idea capable of being exploited by twentieth-century scientists and intellectuals who had very different values from his own.

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"Peter Bowler has fulfilled the obligation to explain the significance of Darwin's work to a more general audience, seizing the opportunity to transmit the conclusions of recent scholarship." British Journal for the History of Science

"...a comprehensive survey of Darwin in and out of his own time and a sound introduction to recent scholarship." Times Literary Supplement

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An almost mythical figure in the development of science, Darwin's theory of natural selection was not initially accepted by many of his contemporaries. This study combines biography and cultural history, charting Darwin's considerable influence from his time to ours.

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