Charles Darwin (Hardback)
Destroyer of Myths
Charles Darwin did not deliberately set out to be the 'destroyer of mythical beliefs', some of which, in his early days as a young Christian, he had previously espoused. He was a modest man who liked to avoid controversy, yet he was to be the cause of one of the greatest controversies in the history of science and religion. When he embarked on HMS Beagle, he could not have imagined the experience would lead him to formulate a theory that would revolutionize the way in which man viewed the natural world.
How did this thoughtful, methodical scientist come to have such an impact on his time – and on ours? That is the question Andrew Norman seeks to answer in this lucid and concise biography of the author of Origin of Species.
The narrative looks perceptively at Darwin's early life, at the influences that shaped him during his university years, and at the formative effect of the famous voyage to Galapagos in the Beagle which led him to question orthodox views on how the world was created and how humans evolved. In particular, it concentrates on the progress, over twenty years, of his thinking on natural selection which grew into a great work that disturbed and enlightened his contemporaries.
Andrew Norman has produced a fascinating account of the development of Darwin's research and theorizing. But he looks, too, at Darwin the man. The result is a rounded portrait of a pioneering thinker whose revolutionary theories profoundly influence our understanding of the world today.