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Page Title: 19th Century Books on  Evolution and Creation
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Nineteenth Century Books on Evolution and Creation: scientific and religious debates in the age of Darwin

Edited by David Knight, Ronald L. Numbers, Bernard Lightman and Mariko Ogawa

Nineteenth Century Books on Evolution and Creation contains 319 essential books and pamphlets on the 'Darwinian revolution' and the scientific and religious controversies that surrounded it. The texts, all of which are British imprints, come from the period 1801-1900 and are available on 1,414 microfiches. The collection includes texts both supportive of and hostile towards evolutionary ideas before and after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in 1859. The emphasis is on works directed beyond a specialist scientific audience towards a wider public. The researcher can appreciate the passions that the debate generated at a time when many considered religion and civilized values to be under threat. Nineteenth Century Books on Evolution and Creation provides students and scholars with a body of rare texts that would be difficult to obtain elsewhere.

This specialist collection contains texts selected from the General Collection on Society and Culture.

Subjects covered include:

  • Darwinism and evolution by natural selection
  • Pre-Darwinian and non-Darwinian theories of evolution
  • Biblical creationism and the idea of design in nature
  • Variation and the categorising of animals and plants
  • The role of Agassiz, Cuvier, Darwin, Wallace, Gray, Haeckel, Huxley, Lyell, Owen, Wilberforce and others
  • Social Darwinism: the wider impact of evolutionary ideas

'The nineteenth century produced an enormous scientific literature. Nineteenth Century Books on Evolution and Creation allows us to see Darwin and Wilberforce against a background of less well- known, but not less interesting figures; and feel the complexity of the struggle, and of what was seen to be at stake. Looking at our ancestors' struggles to come to terms with creation, extinction and evolution can help us understand debates of own times about, for example, `Creationism', psychology and genetics.'

Professor David Knight
University of Durham

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