Sunday, 27 April 2014

Evolution Evolving in Derbyshire

Jonathan Powers - Evolution Evolving ; Part One - Dr Erasmus Darwin
"Was `Evolutionism` then in the Derby air ?" asks Jonathan Powers in his work on the life and times of local lad Erasmus Darwin, noting that proto-`evolutionists` Robert Waring Darwin and Herbert Spencer were also "linked to the same Midlands industrial town."
He goes on to comment that others have argued "that this `evolutionary perspective`...was a by-product of the belief in technological progress which accompanied the industrial revolution - spreading from centres such as Derby, the Derwent Valley and Coalbrookdale to what became the great manufacturing cities of the Midlands and the North" but goes on to outline his own similar-but-different take on these matters ;
"This perspective also influenced the character of their evolutionary views which...were distinctly and unrepentantly progressivist."
I am currently part way through this fascinating booklet - I shall be posting a review online in due course, though not necessarily on this blog - and have to say that JP`s enthusiasm for his subject has rubbed off on me, so I thought I`d take advantage of a spare ten minutes to give it a quick plug.

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