Darwin in Scotland

Darwin in Scotland

Edinburgh, Evolution and Enlightment

J. F. Derry

  • The first comprehensive account of Darwin's crucially-important time in Scotland which proved to be vital preparation for his voyage aboard the Beagle
  • A collection of exclusive interviews that encapsulates diverse fundamental viewpoints
234 × 156mm
224 pages

With exclusive contributions from Richard Dawkins, Noam Chomsky, Martin Rees, Aubrey Manning, Richard Holloway, Daniel C. Dennett, Randal Keynes, Brian Charlesworth, Ken Ham and others

Forewords by A. C. Grayling, Professor of Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London and Stuart Monro, Scientific Director, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

This is the first book on Darwin and Darwinism that wholly concentrates on his time spent in Scotland and the key contributions to his future insights made by the Scottish Enlightenment and the University of Edinburgh. Darwin developed his theories because he attended Edinburgh University - although he participated little in formal tuition, it was through interaction with his tutors, peers and extracurricular groups that he was exposed to an ethos of naturalistic philosophy rooted in the Scottish Enlightenment and, by direct descent, the Ancient Greeks. If he had bypassed Scotland and gone straight to Cambridge, his education would have been theologically-based and unlikely to have given him the perspective that led him to question the prevailing doctrine.

It is also the first book to explore the subsequent impact of his work on modern day biologists at the University of Edinburgh. How far have we moved on since Darwin made his discoveries? Are his theories still relevant to modern-day science? Can we say if they will be relevant in the future? And, what should we be teaching future generations?The relevance of Darwin in debate is as important and volatile now as when The Origin of Species was first published a century and a half ago. Science and religion seem to have reached an impasse. Intelligent Design, the conflicting view to Darwin's theory of natural selection, is the new kid on the block that the science gang wants nothing to do with. All the major issues in evolutionary study are covered here, through interviews with scientists, educators and creationists. They include some of the world leaders in the biological sciences at Edinburgh University, and they are most revealing about what Darwin has meant to them and their work.

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