The Dissent Of Man

By JF Derry

Exploring the influence of Darwin on everyone: atheists, Christians, biologists and entrepreneurs

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The science-religion debate has become increasingly polarised. Scientists like Richard Dawkins attack religion, claiming all faith is irrational because it fails the test of scientific method. Religious apologists insist that science’s inflexible reliance on logic fails to explain the complexity of the natural world. Neither extreme is particularly useful.

Much of the disagreement has focussed on the idea of evolution as presented in the The Origin of Species, which contradicted the literal interpretation of the Biblical creation. But Darwinism has also been stretched far beyond its original scope. It is used to explain the beginnings of life itself, implicated in war crimes, and held up as an answer or a scapegoat in countless situations. It's now an important part of how we understand ourselves, our history and our culture.

This project is an attempt to explore the huge range of interpretations of Darwinism. To do this I've interviewed over fifty commentators: conservationists and creationists, bishops and biochemists, palaeoceanographers and Intelligent Design theorists, theistic evolutionists and a Bahá’í lecturer, sex researchers, mathematicians, ophthalmologists, linguists, evangelical Christians, philosophers, physicians and the Astronomer Royal. As a starting point, I asked each one the same question: ‘what does Darwin mean to you as an individual, and as part of humanity?’

With your help, I want to organise this material into a gradient, a sort of 'Distance from Darwin' chart. Much of what I’ve discovered is surprising and exciting - preconceptions are challenged, antagonists are revealed to be uncomfortable bedfellows, and the extremists aren't necessarily who you might think they are.

I want to celebrate Darwin's influence in a book that provides a practical account of his work while demonstrating how far his ideas have been transformed by others. Most importantly,I want readers to join in by submitting their own thoughts and reflections for inclusion in the final book.

Contributors

Richard Dawkins, Noam Chomsky, Oliver Sacks, James Watson, Ian Stewart, Edward Wilson, Martin Rees, Simon Conway Morris, David King, Aubrey Manning, Michael Behe, George Schaller, Brian Charlesworth, Bjørn Lomborg, Daniel Dennett, William Dembski, Stephen Wolfram, Rupert Sheldrake, Michael Ruse, Susan Blackmore, Lewis Wolpert, Steven Pinker, Richard Holloway, Richard Lewontin, Randal Keynes, John Polkinghorne, Tim Smit, Matt Ridley, Archimedes Plutonium, Richard Gregory, Ken Ham, Adrian Hawkes, and many more.

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$30  + shipping
181 pledges

Hardback

1st edition hardback

ebook edition and your name in the back of the book

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$15 
112 pledges

Digital

ebook edition and your name in the back of the book

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