The Evolutionists The Struggle for Darwin's Soul

Richard Morris, Ph.D.

Holt Paperbacks



Trade Paperback

272 Pages



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Introduced in 1859, Charles Darwin's theory of evolution generated hot debate and controversy. Today, nearly all reputable scientists agree: evolution did happen and natural selection was its main driving force. And yet, a century and a half after Darwin, the theory of evolution is still being fought over with a ferocity that has rarely been equaled in the annals of science. What are scientists arguing about? And why are their exchanges sometimes so bitter?

In The Evolutionists, Richard Morris portrays the controversies raging today in the field of evolutionary biology. He explores the fundamental questions about the evolutionary process that have provoked such vehement disagreement among some of the world's most prominent scientists, including Stephen Jay Gould, fellow paleontologist Niles Eldredge, geneticist John Maynard Smith, and zoologist Richard Dawkins.

As he elucidates the issues of contention, Morris also positions them within the broader context of evolutionary thought as a whole. He explains the theory of evolution in detail, reviews the main trends of evolutionary science since Darwin, and assesses how the field is changing today—from ground-breaking new research to the emergence of scientific disciplines like complexity theory and evolutionary psychology.


Praise for The Evolutionists

"Morris's engaging style makes the history, politics and political motivations fun to read."—Nature

"Clarity and conciseness distinguish this evolution primer."—Discover

"In the course of this clearly written account, Morris explains the theory of evolution, the main trends of its science since Darwin, and the scientific research in evolution that forms the basis for diverging interpretations."—Books News

"Richard Morris outlines where the real action is—not whether evolution happened, but how it happened and what the implications are for our lives. After you read this book you will be compelled to continue watching the drama unfold."—Michael Shermer, Skeptic magazine

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Richard Morris, Ph.D.

  • Richard Morris, Ph.D., is the author of more than a dozen books explaining the wonders and intricacies of the scientific world, among them The Big Questions, Achilles in the Quantum Universe, Time's Arrows, and The Edge of Science. He lives in San Francisco, California.

  • Richard Morris