In this remarkable book Adrian Desmond and James Moore, world authorities on Darwin, give a completely new explanation of how Darwin came to his famous view of evolution, which traced all life to an ancient common ancestor. Darwin was committed to the abolition of slavery, in part because of his family's deeply held beliefs. It was his 'Sacred Cause' and at its core lay a belief in human racial unity. Desmond and Moore show how he extended to all life the idea of human brotherhood held by those who fought to abolish slavery, so developing our modern view of evolution. Through massive detective work among unpublished family correspondence, manuscripts and rare works, the authors back up their compelling claim. Leading apologists for slavery in Darwin's day argued that blacks and whites had originated as separate species, with whites superior. Creationists too believed that 'man' was superior to other species. Darwin abhorred such 'arrogance'; he declared it 'more humble & ... true' to see humans 'created from animals'. Darwin gave all the races - blacks and whites, animals and plants - a common origin and freed them from creationist shackles. Evolution meant emancipation. Darwin's Sacred Cause restores Darwin's humanitarianism, tarnished by atheistic efforts to hijack his reputation and creationist attempts to smear him. Desmond and Moore argue that only by understanding Darwin's Christian abolitionist inheritance can we shed new light on the perplexing mix of personal drive, public hesitancy and scientific radicalism that led him finally in 1871 to publish The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. The result is an epoch-making study of this eminent Victorian.
An “arresting” and deeply personal portrait that “confront[s] the touchy subject of Darwin and race head on” (The New York Times Book Review). It’s difficult to overstate the profound risk Charles Darwin took in publishing his theory of evolution. How and why would a quiet, respectable gentleman, a pillar of his parish, produce one of the most radical ideas in the history of human thought? Drawing on a wealth of manuscripts, family letters, diaries, and even ships’ logs, Adrian Desmond and James Moore have restored the moral missing link to the story of Charles Darwin’s historic achievement. Nineteenth-century apologists for slavery argued that blacks and whites had originated as separate species, with whites created superior. Darwin, however, believed that the races belonged to the same human family. Slavery was therefore a sin, and abolishing it became Darwin’s sacred cause. His theory of evolution gave a common ancestor not only to all races, but to all biological life. This “masterful” book restores the missing moral core of Darwin’s evolutionary universe, providing a completely new account of how he came to his shattering theories about human origins (Publishers Weekly, starred review). It will revolutionize your view of the great naturalist. “An illuminating new book.” —Smithsonian “Compelling . . . Desmond and Moore aptly describe Darwin’s interaction with some of the thorniest social and political issues of the day.” —Wired “This exciting book is sure to create a stir.” —Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University, and author of Charles Darwin: Voyaging
Victorian anthropology has been called an 'armchair practice', distinct from the scientific discipline of the 20th century. Sera-Shriar argues that anthropology went through a process of innovation which built on bservational study and that nineteenth-century anthropology laid the foundations for the field-based science of today.
Throughout the 19th century in the British Empire, parallel developments in science and the law were squeezing Aborigines everywhere into nonexistence. Charles Darwin took part in this. Again and again, he expressed his approval of the extermination of the native lower races. The more interesting part of the story is that there were plenty of voices, albeit a minority and mostly forgotten now, who objected on humanitarian grounds (and sometimes scientific grounds as well). Europeans, they said, were becoming polished savages and dehumanizing the Other. Darwin was very aware of this criticism and cared not one whit. As he said in a letter to Charles Lyell, I care not much whether we are looked at as mere savages in a remotely distant future. But he well knew it was not a remote future. He had read several writers who accused Europeans of being the real savages. For a brief moment in his youth in his Diary, he himself dabbled in such criticism, even though he already believed in the inferiority of indigenous peoples. That belief grew firmer as he matured. Darwin did not dispute humanitarians so much as he ignored them. Its a sad story. But oh those humanitarians, how they inspire.
Born on the same day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were true contemporaries. Though shaped by vastly different environments, they had remarkably similar values, purposes, and approaches. In this exciting new study, James Lander places these two iconic men side by side and reveals the parallel views they shared of man and God. While Lincoln is renowned for his oratorical prowess and for the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as many other accomplishments, his scientific and technological interests are not widely recognized; for example, many Americans do not know that Lincoln is the only U.S. president to obtain a patent. Darwin, on the other hand, is celebrated for his scientific achievements but not for his passionate commitment to the abolition of slavery, which in part drove his research in evolution. Both men took great pains to avoid causing unnecessary offense despite having abandoned traditional Christianity. Each had one main adversary who endorsed scientific racism: Lincoln had Stephen A. Douglas, and Darwin had Louis Agassiz. With graceful and sophisticated writing, Lander expands on these commonalities and uncovers more shared connections to people, politics, and events. He traces how these two intellectual giants came to hold remarkably similar perspectives on the evils of racism, the value of science, and the uncertainties of conventional religion. Separated by an ocean but joined in their ideas, Lincoln and Darwin acted as trailblazers, leading their societies toward greater freedom of thought and a greater acceptance of human equality. This fascinating biographical examination brings the mid-nineteenth-century discourse about race, science, and humanitarian sensibility to the forefront using the mutual interests and pursuits of these two historic figures.
The Darwin Myth casts aside Darwinism's politically correct veneer and offers a critical, scientific analysis of Darwin's life and his history–changing theory. Without vilifying or deifying Darwin, Wiker reveals the story of the complicated man with a love for family, science, and a passion to eliminate God from public thought.
In this essay, Joshua Moritz shows how the conceptual landscape of theology been shaped by the history and philosophy of science, even as theology has informed the history and philosophical foundations of the natural sciences.
This book brings together eminent and rising scholars from religious studies, science, sociology of religion, sociology of science, philosophy, and theology in order to engage the new atheism and place it in the context of broader debates in these areas.
A compelling portrait of a unique moment in American history when the ideas of Charles Darwin reshaped American notions about nature, religion, science and race “A lively and informative history.” – The New York Times Book Review Throughout its history America has been torn in two by debates over ideals and beliefs. Randall Fuller takes us back to one of those turning points, in 1860, with the story of the influence of Charles Darwin’s just-published On the Origin of Species on five American intellectuals, including Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, the child welfare reformer Charles Loring Brace, and the abolitionist Franklin Sanborn. Each of these figures seized on the book’s assertion of a common ancestry for all creatures as a powerful argument against slavery, one that helped provide scientific credibility to the cause of abolition. Darwin’s depiction of constant struggle and endless competition described America on the brink of civil war. But some had difficulty aligning the new theory to their religious convictions and their faith in a higher power. Thoreau, perhaps the most profoundly affected all, absorbed Darwin’s views into his mysterious final work on species migration and the interconnectedness of all living things. Creating a rich tableau of nineteenth-century American intellectual culture, as well as providing a fascinating biography of perhaps the single most important idea of that time, The Book That Changed America is also an account of issues and concerns still with us today, including racism and the enduring conflict between science and religion.
Darwin has long been hailed as forefather to behavioural science, especially nowadays, with the growing popularity of evolutionary psychologies. Yet, until now, his contribution to the field of psychology has been somwhat understated. This is the first book ever to examine the riches of what Darwin himself wrote about psychological matters. It unearths a Darwin new to science, whose first concern is the agency of organisms-from which he derives both his psychology, and his theory of evolution. A deep reading of Darwin's writings on climbing plants and babies, blushing and bower-birds, worms and facial movements, shows that, for Darwin, evolution does not explain everything about human action. Group-life and culture are also keys, whether we discuss the dynamics of conscience or the dramas of desire. Thus his treatment of facial actions sets out from the anatomy and physiology of human facial movements, and shows how these are recognized by others. A discussion of blushing extends his theory to the way reading others' expressions rebounds on ourselves-I care about how I think you read me. This dynamic proves central to how Darwin understands sexual desire, the production of conscience and of social standards through group dynamics, and the role of culture in human agency. Presenting a new Darwin to science, and showing how widely Darwin's understanding of evolution and agency has been misunderstood and misrepresented in the biology and the social sciences, this important new book shows a new way forward for those who want to base psychology on the foundation of evolutionary biology
Charles Darwin (180982) changed the world forever with the 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Charles Darwin: A Celebration of His Life and Legacy is an anthology of critical writings that grew out of a lecture series, hosted by Auburn University, held on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the first edition of his most famous book. Ideas in On the Origin of Species reordered the biological sciences forever, spawned new disciplines including evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, and evolutionary developmental biology, became foundational for modern biomedical research and practice, inspired new literature and literary criticism, were misused by 20th-century eugenicists and social Darwinists, traumatized persons with certain theological views, and continue to alter humankind's view of itself and its place in the world...
The idea of "race" played an increasing role in nineteenth-century British colonial thought. For most of the nineteenth century, John Crawfurd towered over British colonial policy in South-East Asia, being not only a colonial administrator, journalist and professional lobbyist, but also one of the key racial theorists in the British Empire. He approached colonialism as a radical liberal, proposing universal voting for all races in British colonies and believing all races should have equal legal rights. Yet at the same time, he also believed that races represented distinct species of people, who were unrelated. This book charts the development of Crawfurd’s ideas, from the brief but dramatic period of British rule in Java, to his political campaigns against James Brooke and British rule in Borneo. Central to Crawfurd’s political battles were the debates he had with his contemporaries, such as Stamford Raffles and William Marsden, over the importance of race and his broader challenge to universal ideas of history, which questioned the racial unity of humanity. The book taps into little explored manuscripts, newspapers and writings to uncover the complexity of a leading nineteenth-century political and racial thinker whose actions and ideas provide a new view of British liberal, colonial and racial thought.