Charles Darwin: The Man and his Influence / Edition 1

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There can be no doubt of Charles Darwin's major role in the development of modern science and thought. Darwin has become an almost mythical figure in the emergence of modern culture; yet he was by no means the first person to publish evolutionary ideas and his theory of natural selection was not generally accepted by his contemporaries. The publication of the Origin of Species excited much debate and controversy, at once challenging the very foundations of Christian belief, and yet appearing to underpin the Victorian concept of progress and the ability of science to explore areas hitherto obscured by religious dogma. Today Darwin's achievements still evoke powerful and contradictory responses. Peter Bowler's study of Darwin's life and influence combines biography and cultural history. He sets out to disentangle the complex motivations that have led people to their various evaluations of Darwin the scientist and Darwin theory. He shows how Darwin's contemporaries were unable to appreciate precisely those aspects of his thinking we consider of importance 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521566681
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2002
  • Series: Cambridge Science Biographies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

General Editor's Preface
1 The Problem of Interpretation 1
2 Evolution before the Origin of Species 17
3 The Young Darwin 33
4 The Voyage of the Beagle 49
5 The Crucial Years: London, 1837-1842 67
6 The Years of Development 89
7 Going Public 109
8 The Emergence of Darwinism 127
9 The Opponents of Darwinism 153
10 Human Origins 177
11 Darwin and the Modern World 203
Notes 221
Bibliography 233
Index 245
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