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 vividly portrays the controversies raging today in the field of evolutionary biology. With a clear and unbiased eye, 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.
A vibrant account of contemporary evolutionary biology, The Evolutionists is a fascinating look at how controversy and debate shape the scientific process.