Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is considered in its application to human beings in this book. Brian Baxter examines the various sociobiological approaches to the explanation of human behaviour which view the human brain, and so the human mind, as the product of evolution, and considers the main arguments for and against this claim. In so doing he defends the approaches against some common criticisms, such as the charge that they are reductionist and dehumanising. The implications of these arguments for the social sciences and humanities are assessed, as is the naturalistic view of ethics to which they lead. A key issue examined in the book is the connection between this Darwinist perspective on human beings and modern environmental ethics, which also often assume that human beings are part of an evolved living world. The implications of these positions for the meaningfulness of human life are also examined. Throughout the discussion the positions in sociobiology and environmental ethics developed by Edward O. Wilson are taken as an exemplar of the characteristic features of a Darwinian worldview, and the arguments of Wilson and his chief critics are thoroughly examined.
George John Romanes, close friend and colleague of Darwin, remains a terribly misunderstood figure in the history of evolutionary science. Although his scientific contributions have been valued, his religious journey has been either neglected or misjudged. Typically scholars only acknowledge some of the work on theism he did at the very end of his life and usually blame his wife for doctoring the record with her pieties. His extensive poetry writing, much of it religious, has never been explored and his Memorial Poem to Darwin has been completely overlooked. The recent discovery of the original typescript of the poem, lost for more than a century and reprinted in this book for the first time, allows us to enter the mind of a major Darwinian as we watch him struggle to put together faith and science on a positive basis.
Charles Darwin is well-known throughout the world for his revolutionary work from 1859;The Origin of Species, the foundational study of evolution which greatly challenged the near-universal belief in the Christian world, at that time, of creationism. Originally published in 1928, Dorsey attempts to provide a detailed account of the scientist's life and personality informed by letters, published works and an autobiography written by Darwin. Darwin's life was full of challenges both in his personal life as well as his career andThe Evolution of Charles Darwin explores all aspects of his life from birth to death emphasising the great impact his work had in the scientific community and humanity as a whole.
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