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Upon publication, Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species excited much debate and controversy, challenging the foundations of Christianity, nonetheless underpinning the Victorian concept of progress. It still evokes powerful and contradictory responses today. Peter Bowler's study of Darwin's life, first published in 1990, combines biography and cultural history. Emphasizing in particular the impact of Darwin's work, he shows how Darwin's contemporaries were unable to appreciate precisely those aspects of his thinking that are considered scientifically important today. He also demonstrates that Darwin was a product of his time, but he also transcended it by creating an idea capable of being exploited by twentieth-century scientists and intellectuals who had very different values from his own. [via]