On the morning of November 24, 1859, Darwin's On the Origin of Species made its first appearance and the world changed forever. An age of faith was plunged into profound religious doubt, and believers of every kind rose to pronounce anathema on Darwin's godless tract. sparking a fresh battle in the long-running battle between science and religion. But while the reactionaries raged, the scientific community soon came to accept natural selection, and the discovery of Gregor Mendel's work in 1900 (which marked the founding of modern genetics) set the seal on Darwin's triumph by providing the missing piece to his puzzle — an understanding of just how inheritance works.

Unfortunately, everything in the previous paragraph is nonsense, apart from the Origin's publication date. . . . The Victorian "crisis of faith" preceded Darwin by many years. — Jim Endersby, "Creative Designs?" Times Literary Supplement, 16 March 2007, p. 3.


The Scientific and Cultural Contexts

Pre-Darwininan Views of Evolution and Anticipations of Darwin

Responses to Darwin's evolutionary theories

Last modified 22 August 2013