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  • Paperback
  • 368
  • Evolution The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory
  • Edward J. Larson
  • English
  • 09 October 2020
  • 9780812968491

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REVIEW ¶ Evolution The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory Very of the DNA double helix and to the triumphant neo Darwinian synthesis and rising sociobiology todayAlong the way Larson expertly places the scientific upheaval of evolution in cultural perspective the social and philosophical earthuake that was the French Revolution; the development in England of a laissez faire capitalism in tune with a Darwinian ethos of “survival of the fittest”; the emergence of Social Darwinism and the dark science of eugenics against a backdrop of industrial revolution; the American Christian backlash against evolutionism that culminated in the famous Scopes trial; and on to today’s world where religious fundamentalists litigate for the right to teach “creation science” alongside evolution in US public schools even as the theory itself continues to evolve in new and surprising directionsThroughout. Many books have traced the development of evolutionary ideas from the early stirrings in the late eighteenth century through the triumphal breakthrough of Darwinism This book does that and so much It continues through the scientific skepticism generated by developments in genetics paleontology and statistics during the following century that led eventually to the mid twentieth century Neo Darwinian synthesis that established evolution at the center of all biology Along the way Larson sympathetically recounts the non scientific resistance to Darwinism the pseudo scientific eugenics movement and the late twentieth century fundamentalist resistance to Godless science Brief descriptions of the major personalities add spice to the narrative but the focus remains on the scientific discoveries and theories and the scientific and non scientific responses to these ideas

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REVIEW ¶ Evolution The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory “I often said before starting that I had no doubt I should freuently repent of the whole undertaking” So wrote Charles Darwin aboard The Beagle bound for the Galapagos Islands and what would arguably become the greatest and most controversial discovery in scientific history But the theory of evolution did not spring full blown from the head of Darwin Since the dawn of humanity priests philosophers and scientists have debated the origin and development of life on earth and with modern science that debate shifted into high gearIn this lively deeply erudite work Pulitzer Prize–winning science historian Edward J Larson takes us on a guided tour of Darwin’s “dangerous idea” from its theoretical antecedents in the early nineteenth century to the brilliant breakthroughs of Darwin and Wallace to Watson and Crick’s stunning disco. A history of the development and reactions to evolutionary theory from the 18th century to modern synthesis and American culture wars over the subject Straight forward history on a topic that has generated a lot of cultural conflict in the west especially very much in religion and politics it is one of those scientific ideas that can t be let alone by the culture because it speaks to our origins and nature Of course it is going to generate contentious conflict with people who have a stake in it From social Darwinists eugenicists nazis and fundamentalists many dangerous forces swirl around Evolution Also gives a history of the mainstream development of evolutionary theory in the sciences

Edward J. Larson À 1 REVIEW

REVIEW ¶ Evolution The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory Larson trains his spotlight on the lives and careers of the scientists explorers and eccentrics whose collaborations and competitions have driven the theory of evolution forward Here are portraits of Cuvier Lamarck Darwin Wallace Haeckel Galton Huxley Mendel Morgan Fisher Dobzhansky Watson and Crick W D Hamilton E O Wilson and many others Celebrated as one of mankind’s crowning scientific achievements and reviled as a threat to our deepest values the theory of evolution has utterly transformed our view of life religion origins and the theory itself and remains controversial especially in the United States where 90% of adults do not subscribe to the full Darwinian vision Replete with fresh material and new insights Evolution will educate and inform while taking readers on a fascinating journey of discovery From the Hardcover edition. What a fantastic read Pick this up and be amazed