Evolutionary Theory and Victorian Culture

ISBN-10: 1591020034

ISBN-13: 9781591020035

Edition: 2002

Authors: Martin Fichman

List price: $23.99
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Description:

Although Charles Darwin was a central figure in the 19th-century development of evolutionary theory, we often tend to overlook the crucial role played by other leading thinkers of the time. For example, Alfred Russel Wallace independently arrived at nearly identical conclusions as Darwin on the origin and evolution of species. Furthermore, the phrase "survival of the fittest", which most people now associate with Darwin, was actually coined by philosopher Herbert Spencer to describe the key mechanism of natural selection. And in the cultural debate on evolution no one played a more prominent role than Thomas Henry Huxley, known as "Darwin's bulldog". This absorbing study of the Victorian controversies over the cultural meaning of evolution broadens our perspective by emphasising the contributions of these and other prominent individuals. Martin Fichman traces the emergence of science as a definitive political and cultural force in this critical period, showing that evolutionary biology was at the epicentre of these profound socio-cultural transformations. His astute analysis of the often vehement Victorian debates on the political, religious, racial, and ethical implications of evolutionary thought reveals how science came to be inseparable from the broader culture. He also relates nineteenth-century controversies to cultural debates in the twentieth century, in particular the notorious Scopes trial (1925) and the ongoing debate about "scientific creationism".
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Book details

List price: $23.99
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Prometheus Books, Publishers
Publication date: 11/1/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

Author's Preface
Evolutionism in Cultural Context
Social Darwinism(s)
Transatlantic Evolutionism
Debates on Human Evolution
Wallace and Darwin: The Major Differences
Evolutionary Ethics
Evolution and Religion: Tensions and Accommodation
The Contemporary Debates: "Creation Science"?
Bibliography
Index
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