The Darwinian Revolution : The Great Courses: Biology

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Frederick Gregory
  • Series: The Great Courses: Biology
  • 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Published 150 years ago, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species - the text that introduced the world to natural selection - is among a handful of books that have changed the world. But the route to that status has been surprisingly circuitous and uncertain. Darwin's profoundly revolutionary message has often been misunderstood, as have his own views on evolution, the intellectual background that led to them, and the turbulent history of their reception.
Now, in 24 absorbing lectures by an award-winning teacher, you learn the remarkable story of Darwin's ideas, how scientists and religious leaders reacted to them, and the sea change in human thought that resulted.
You'll learn how Darwin arrived at his theory of natural selection-the idea that those members of a species best equipped to survive will tend to outlast others, thus changing the species over time-very slowly and cautiously. For he was all too aware of the intellectual dynamite inherent in its implication of no divine intervention being necessary for a rich diversity of life forms on earth.
And you'll see how Darwin worked out the details of his theory not only by building on both his own observations and the insights of others, but also through amazing leaps in the face of apparently contrary evidence. You'll also see how the firestorm of religious criticism Darwin's theory faced has scarcely subsided to this day, with Professor Gregory bringing this controversy up to date by carefully examining the claims of intelligent design, the latest and most sophisticated attempt to challenge Darwin on religious grounds.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Modern Scientific Cosmos

This audiobook is a fantastic scientific overview. It does not simply explain what Darwin's theory of natural selection was but its consequences as well as its scientific heritage - e.g: Other theories and hypotheses which were around prior to and concurrent with Darwin's theory - such as catastrophism or LeMarcian evolution.

The book also takes considerable time to explain these previous theories and the various terms used as well as multiple challenges to each discussed topic.

This volume does not suggest as some do that Darwin's paper was published and suddenly every thing changed overnight but makes it clear that at every stage after a new evolutionary theory was put out into the scientific field that it went through intense peer review and even that early on when the very first rumblings of such a concept were being discussed it was treated with similar scorn to that which believers in a flat earth or other such ideas would experience today,

If you are at all interested in a fair and intellectual as well as in my opinion unbiased discussion of evolution, Darwin, scientific advancement, natural selection and other related topics I could not recommend this book more highly. It is also excellently narrated by a clear and knowledgeable speaker who has the decency to inform the audience when he is discussing a topic if he is referring to the opinions of the individuals being discussed or his own opinion. 10 out of 10. If this Professor covers any further areas for The Great Courses series I will be sure to buy them.
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- Alistair

great lengthy history tale of evolution

history, evolution, politics, science, theology, lots of ideas, findings, bones and stuff that's really interesting.
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- Dror Speiser

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses