Evolution and the Spontaneous Generation Debate

Evolution and the Spontaneous Generation Debate

by James Strick

Hardcover(FAC)

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Overview

Evolution and the Spontaneous Generation Debate by James Strick

Evolution and the Spontaneous Generation Debate collects the rare primary works on the origin of life by Henry Charlton Bastian (1837--1915), one of the brightest young rising Darwinian stars of the time. It contains all Bastian's key works on this subject, from his very first in 1871, The Modes of Origin of Lowest Organisms, through to one of his last, The Evolution of Life in 1907. The set also includes contemporary reviews and responses to Bastian's work which illustrate how emotive this theory was during the 1870s and why the likes of T. H. Huxley and John Tyndall went to extraordinarily great lengths to oppose Bastian. In the first two decades after the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859), a lively, often heated debate broke out about what the implications of Darwin's theory were for understanding the origin of life from non-living matter. Nowhere was the debate more acrimonious than among the Darwinians themselves. The response to Bastian's work was uniformly negative in Christian religious circles, and created a tremendous response, both negative and positive, from the Darwinians. One faction, including medical doctors and scientific journals, strongly supported Bastian's ideas, another, including Huxley, Tyndall and the powerful X Club, fiercely attacked Bastian, eventually declaring him vanquished by 1878.

This set contains examples of both reactions, including Huxley's famous 'Biogenesis and Abiogenesis' address. This set is crucial to understanding the genesis of today's ideas about the origin of life. Much of the broad outlines of modern Darwinian ideas took shape in the debate over Bastian's work and have remained with us since. Featuring anintroduction by James Strick, Assistant Professor of Biology and Society, Arizona State University, Evolution and the Spontaneous Generation Debate will amply reward study by scientists, physicians, historians of science, and all in the modern scientific world, who wish to better understand public controversy in science.--contains important writings by nineteenth-century scientists on the spontaneous generation debate--important case study of a Victorian debate on evolution--crucial to understanding the development of the origin of life theory in the nineteenth century

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781855068728
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 04/15/2001
Series: Evolution and Anti-Evolution Series: Debates Before and after Darwin
Edition description: FAC
Pages: 2770
Product dimensions: 6.36(w) x 9.32(h) x 9.68(d)

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