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Rereading Darwin’s Origin of Species The Hesitations of an Evolutionist

By: Richard G Delisle(Author), James Tierney(Author)
176 pages, 13 b/w illustrations
Rereading Darwin’s Origin of Species
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  • Rereading Darwin’s Origin of Species ISBN: 9781350259768 Paperback Aug 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 5 days
  • Rereading Darwin’s Origin of Species ISBN: 9781350259577 Hardback Feb 2022 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 5 days
Selected version: £84.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Widely seen as evolution's founding figure, Charles Darwin is taken by many evolutionists to be the first to propose a truly modern theory of evolution. Darwin's greatness, however, has obscured the man and his work, at times even to the point of distortion.

Accessibly written, Rereading Darwin’s Origin of Species presents a more nuanced picture and invites us to discover some neglected ambiguities and contradictions in Darwin's masterwork. Delisle and Tierney show Darwin to be a man who struggled to reconcile the received wisdom of an unchanging natural world with his new ideas about evolution. Arguing that Darwin was unable to break free entirely from his contemporaries' more traditional outlook, they show his theory to be a fascinating compromise between old and new.

Rediscovering this other Darwin – and this other side of On the Origin of Species – helps shed new light on the immensity of the task that lay before 19th-century scholars, as well as their ultimate achievements.


Introduction: The Two Sides of Darwin

Part One The Charles Darwin We Think We All Know
1. A Primer of Evolution's Complexities
2. What Time Selected from Darwin: The Standard View

Part Two Charles Darwin and the Static Worldview
3. The Tree That Hides the Forest: Charles Darwin's “Tree of Life”
4. Divergence: A Geometry That Shatters Creative Time and Novelty
5. A Cyclical World in Equilibrium
6. Natural Selection: The Core of Darwin's Theory?

Part Three Charles Darwin Viewed in Piecemeal Fashion
7. When So-Called New Ideas Hide Old Ones

Conclusion: Back to the Future

Customer Reviews


Richard G. Delisle holds a PhD in paleoanthropology and a PhD in philosophy. He is an associate professor at the University of Lethbridge, Canada where he teaches evolution and history/philosophy of science at the School of Liberal Education, being also affiliated with the Department of Philosophy. He is the founder and editor of the book series Evolutionary Biology: New Perspectives on its Development with the academic publisher. He is the author of Debating Humankind's Place in Nature, 1860-2000: The Nature of Paleoanthropology (2007) and of Charles Darwin's Incomplete Revolution: The Origin of Species and the Static Worldview (2019), among other publications.

James Tierney studied Philosophy and French at the University of Michigan and Philosophy at the University of Chicago, USA. He is currently Senior Lector and Director of Yale English Language Programs at Yale University, USA. As part of the founding board of the Consortium on Graduate Communications, he organized its first Summer Institute at Yale University (in 2017) and is active in research and advocacy in the field of advanced language learning at the graduate level. He has also worked as a freelance editor and translator since 2005.

By: Richard G Delisle(Author), James Tierney(Author)
176 pages, 13 b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"The book shows that biology, especially evolutionary biology, is a dynamic and extremely exciting field and that there is much left to be discovered by the next generations of biologists. It delves deeply into Darwin's On the Origin of Species as well as into the paradigm prevailing during his time."
– Alexander Czaja, Evolution: International Journal of Organic Evolution

"Delisle and Tierney have immersed themselves in the text of On the Origin of Species like few, if any, before. This is a highly original, critical, yet sympathetic deconstruction of the Darwin idolatry that has dominated biological evolution theory for decades."
– Nicolaas Rupke, Professor of the History of Science, University of Goettingen, Germany and Washington and Lee University, USA

"A much-needed deconstruction of the 'Darwin Legend', that is, the seemingly irresistible temptation of many modern readers to read their own ideas back into On the Origin of Species, and to make Darwin an ahistorical icon, or the father figure of an even more ahistorical 'Darwinism'."
– Antonello La Vergata, Professor of the History of Philosophy, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

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