Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation: Review.

Britain seemed to need a lifetime to overcome its revulsion at the materialism and atheism it saw as responsible for the horrors of the French revolution. Darwin’s natural selection, a purely physical cause of evolution, seems to have been part of that catching up. But a much more significant step was the sensation following publication of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation in 1844. I declare this a great book. It is a wrap up of the science behind all phenomena, from the nebulae, to solar systems, terrestrial geology, stages in the fossil record, evolution of living creatures including us, to human psychology and prospects for our further evolution. With a steady confident tread it made science the standard to look to for accounting for knowledge of all kinds. It reads remarkably like a modern synopsis of scientific knowledge.

More important, it shows us how the discovery that we'd evolved looked to an early enquirer, 15 years before the appearance of Origin, and established the terms in which we still talk about evolution. More...

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