Evolution is one of the most misunderstood ideas in the history of science. Many of those who originally embraced Darwin's theory in the 19th century rejected its most important mechanism — natural selection. Many later critics of evolution saw it as immoral, questioning not its scientific legitimacy but its consequences for society. Darwin himself recognized the social implications of his theory and struggled to come to terms with them. In this presentation, Lindee explore his life, ideas and legacies, considering the voyage of the Beagle, the crisis that led to publication of the theory, and the meanings of evolution over the next 150 years, in the Scopes Trial, the discovery of DNA, the Intelligent Design movement, and new global industry of genealogy testing and racialized biological identity. Lindee places Darwinian evolution in a broad historical and social context — and suggests why Darwin's great 1859 classic, On the Origin of Species, should be required reading for everyone today.
Tangier Campus Auditorium