A Great Courses Series
Now through March 2020
Published 160 years ago, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species—the text that introduced the world to natural selection—is among a handful of books that have changed the world.
Born amid a ferment of speculation about evolution- ary scenarios in the early 19th century; vilified and later pronounced dead at the turn of the 20th cen- tury; and spectacularly confirmed by discovery af- ter discovery in succeeding decades—natural selec- tion ranks with the theories of Copernicus and New- ton for its iconic stature in science.
But the route to that status has been surprisingly cir- cuitous and uncertain. Darwin’s profoundly revolu- tionary message has often been misunderstood, and so have his own views on evolution, the intellectual background that led to them, and the turbulent his- tory of their reception