When Darwin announced his theory of evolution by natural selection, he did more than transform biology. Before his great work, humans were comfortably different from other life, a special creation. By showing how life on Earth evolved, Darwin told us that humans too are part of nature. His decisive experience - a five-year round-the-world voyage on the Beagle - set him thinking about the diversity of life, ideas that would challenge the scientific establishment and Victorian society. Darwin for years built his evidence for evolution, even as he realised that such ideas were leading him straight into controversy and dispute. This book gives a concise account of Darwin's life and work, and makes vividly clear why his work continues to influence us all.
Stephen Webster has received the Association for British Science Writers prize and was funded by the Wellcome Trust to write the libretto for "Darwin s Dream.""