Darwin - Darwin's Originality Peter J. Bowler, et al....

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DOI: 10.1126/science.1160332 , 223 (2009); 323 Science et al. Peter J. Bowler, Darwin's Originality www.sciencemag.org (this information is current as of January 27, 2009 ): The following resources related to this article are available online at http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/323/5911/223 version of this article at: including high-resolution figures, can be found in the online Updated information and services, found at: can be related to this article A list of selected additional articles on the Science Web sites http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/323/5911/223#related-content http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/collection/evolution Evolution : subject collections This article appears in the following http://www.sciencemag.org/about/permissions.dtl in whole or in part can be found at: this article permission to reproduce of this article or about obtaining reprints Information about obtaining registered trademark of AAAS. is a Science 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved. The title Copyright American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005. (print ISSN 0036-8075; online ISSN 1095-9203) is published weekly, except the last week in December, by the Science on January 27, 2009 www.sciencemag.org Downloaded from
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Darwin s Originality Peter J. Bowler Charles Darwin s theory of natural selection has been hailed as one of the most innovative contributions to modern science. When first proposed in 1859, however, it was widely rejected by his contemporaries, even by those who accepted the general idea of evolution. This article identifies those aspects of Darwin s work that led him to develop this revolutionary theory, including his studies of biogeography and animal breeding, and his recognition of the role played by the struggle for existence. T he publication of Charles Darwin s On the Origin of Species in 1859 is widely supposed to have initiated a revolution both in science and in Western culture. Yet there have been frequent claims that Darwinism was somehow in the air at the time, merely waiting for someone to put a few readily available points together in the right way [for instance ( 1 )]. The fact that Alfred Russel Wallace (Fig. 1) indepen- dently formulated a theory of natural selection in 1858 is taken as evidence for this position. But Darwin had created the outlines of the theory 20 years earlier, and there were significant dif- ferences between the ways in which he and Wallace formulated their ideas. In this essay, I argue that Darwin was truly original in his think- ing, and I support this claim by addressing the related issue of defining just why the theory was so disturbing to his contemporaries. Darwin was certainly not the first to sug-
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Darwin - Darwin's Originality Peter J. Bowler, et al....

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