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The Origin Of Species

The Origin Of Species
A copy of The Origin Of Species, dated 1859 ©TopFoto.co.uk/Fotomas

The theories outlined in Charles Darwin’s masterwork of 1859, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection", were among the most controversial propositions of 19th-century science.

The book – 21 years in the preparation – represented the first attempt to write an all-encompassing theory that accounted for the development of life on earth. In suggesting that life-forms evolve through the generations, Darwin outraged the Victorian church, which held to a more or less literal interpretation of the story of Creation given in the Old Testament.

The theories of evolution and the survival of the fittest have hardly been questioned by scientists in the 150 years since Darwin’s findings were first aired, making this one of the most spectacular forward leaps in scientific history.


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