Darwin’s Apostles

Darwin’s Apostles February 3, 2020

Humanist Press have recently published Darwin’s Apostles: The Men Who Fought to Have Evolution Accepted, Their Times, and How the Battle Continues, by David Orenstein and Abby Hafer. The description of the book is as follows:

When Darwin finally published The Origin of Species in 1859, there was no guarantee that the grand theory of natural selection would become one of the most valuable ideas impacting biology and our modernity. It was so controversial that some disapproving scientists, many in the Church, and powerful others worked to stop it from becoming known and accepted.

This is the story of Darwin, his life, times, and some of the brave scientists who supported and advocated for him at the birth of the scientific revolution.

I was sent an advance copy and was happy to endorse the book:

“Evolution lies at the intersection between science and religion, evidence and tradition, truth and faith. At the roadsides, marshaling traffic with loud hailers, have been Darwin’s Apostles, directing travelers away from dangerous roads, littered with potholes, and along sound highways, paved with logic and observation, patience and precision.

Darwin, who himself stood on the shoulders of giants, provided the inspirational content for others to herald, the foundations from which the scientific world could build a new edifice.

Darwin needed these engineers and communicators, architects and builders, to promote, disseminate and refine his legacy. It is this roadmap of evolution that the fantastic cartographers of science, Orenstein and Hafer, have so skillfully charted. The authors have masterfully captured the history, politic, sensation and importance of this time and the work of these visionary people, without whom Darwin’s revolutionary work might today be the purview of merely a fringe few. But for these people and their actions so articulately described in this book, we might still be living in a dull and murky world unlit by the shining examples of science and science communication.

Orenstein and Hafer have collated a story, no, a history, that everyone interested in science and the desire for truth to prevail should be interested in. If you have On the Origin of Species on your bookshelf, Darwin’s Apostles should be nestled next to it. If you have neither…well, that needs to change. This is essential reading for any traveler on the road to reality, for any thinker wishing to better understand the very world around them.”

Jonathan MS Pearce, philosopher and author of Did God Create the Universe from Nothing? and Not Seeing God: Atheism in the 21st Century

I suggest getting hold of the book as it gives a fascinating insight into the contemporaneous world and people around Darwin and his ideas, and we don’t often get to hear enough about them.

 

 


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