Since its publication in 1859, The Origin of Species has been the focal point of debate. Darwin's analysis of flora and fauna calls into question the long-held concepts of spontaneous generation, divine creation, and the unrelatedness of many species. Instead, he argues for Natural Selection: species survive and evolve in response to environmental conditions and other circumstances through a process in which those creatures and plants with stronger, more enduring characteristics live to beget more adaptable offspring. It was Darwin's research aboard the H.M.S. Beagle that led to the clash of intellectual titans - religion and science - over the true nature of humankind. Here is the book that started one of the greatest debates of the Western world.
About the Author
Frederick Burkhardt (1912 2007), the founder of the Darwin Correspondence Project, was president of Bennington College, Vermont, 1947 57, and president of the American Council of Learned Societies, 1957 74. Before founding the Darwin Correspondence Project in 1974, he was already at work on an edition of the papers of the philosopher William James. He received the Modern Language Association of America's first Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters in 1991, the Founder's Medal of the Society for the History of Natural History in 1997, the Thomas Jefferson Gold Medal of the American Philosophical Society in 2003 and a special citation for outstanding service to the history of science from the History of Science Society in 2005.