WHAT CHARLES DARWIN offered his contemporaries in 1859 with The Origin of Species was a view of evolution that was free of superstition and belief in a supernatural creator. His explanation of the emergence of the stunning diversity of species on Earth, through inherited variability in populations and competition among individuals leading to selection of superior variants, was regarded as an expression of natural law and the intrinsically creative power of the natural world.

Enlightened thinkers of the time experienced this to be powerfully liberating from dogma and ideology, refreshingly ...


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