“Darwin showed that man was continuous with other animals not just in his bodily form but in his mind and, for want of another word, soul. This was a hugely controversial idea in his day and it remains so for many people in ours (though it has never been a problem for animists or pantheists, among others). Even the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, and Darwin’s great champion, Thomas Henry Huxley, balked at it. They simply could not believe that the human mind and morality could, just like nipples and noses, have evolved without divine intervention. Perhaps the dark, Malthusian aspect of the theory of natural selection, expressed so vividly in chapter 3 of The Origin, and the “Social Darwinist” vision, which was not Darwin’s own but to which it was quickly linked, was too daunting, and unlike Darwin himself, they failed to appreciate it was an incomplete account.” Read more...
The Best Books for Growing up in the Anthropocene