Researchers: Darwin omitted preface from first editionBreaking News
A new study shows that Darwin was composing the introductory chapter to his book as early as 1856, even though that preface remained unpublished for six years until Origin's second edition. The findings suggest Darwin also wrote the chapter on his own accord and not in reaction to people who had read the book.
The original edition of the landmark book was published in 1859, without any introductory material. Still a public flash point today, "Origin" drew initial outcries, in part for the missing preface in which an author of the time typically would have credited and thanked his intellectual predecessors. One scientist accused Darwin of plagiarism for failing to acknowledge the giants whose work allowed him to see farther.
A year later, a new edition of the classic was published with a preface describing and crediting the intellectual work upon which natural selection rests.
Darwin historians have assumed the chapter "Historical Sketch" was penned as an afterthought, in response to his critics and accusations that his ideas were not original. However, Darwin's personal correspondence shows that the sketch was actually written prior to the first printing of the book, said political historian Curtis Johnson of Lewis and Clark College, whose detailed study of the preface is published in the January issue of the Journal of the History of Biology.
comments powered by Disqus
- A military cemetery whose African American history is hidden in plain sight in Philadelphia
- Texas Senate increases education board's textbook veto power
- The Secret Transcripts of the Six-Day War
- Buried at an Asylum, the ‘Unspoken, Untold History’ of the South
- New Orleans removes monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee
- Mark Moyar explains why he came to believe the Vietnam War was winnable
- How should Texas high schoolers learn history?
- What's the 'greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history’?
- H.R. McMaster criticized – and not for his defense of Trump
- Yale’s David Blight is asked if New Orleans rewrite its Civil War legacy