Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Darwin, Charles (1809–1882)
H. James Birx
Charles Robert Darwin (1809–1882) is one of the greatest naturalists in the history of science. His theory of organic evolution delivered a blow to traditional thought by offering a new worldview with disquieting ramifications for understanding and appreciating the human species within natural history. The geobiologist had presented his conceptual revolution in terms of science and reason (i.e., his evolutionary framework is based upon convincing empirical evidence and rational arguments). As a result of Darwinian evolution grounded in mechanism and materialism, philosophy and theology would never again be the same; just as the human species is now placed within primate history in particular and within the organic evolution of all life forms on this planet in general, religious beliefs and practices are now seen to be products of the sociocultural development of human thought and behavior. The implications and consequences of biological evolution for the human species were both farreaching ...