The Great Courses: History of Science

11 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

The Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy Publisher's Summary

Charles Darwin's theory of organic evolution - the idea that life on earth is the product of purely natural causes, not the hand of God - set off shock waves that continue to reverberate through Western society, and especially the United States. What makes evolution such a profoundly provocative concept, so convincing to most scientists, yet so socially and politically divisive? These 12 eye-opening lectures are an examination of the varied elements that so often make this science the object of strong sentiments and heated debate.

Professor Larson leads you through the "evolution" of evolution, with an eye toward enhancing your understanding of the development of the theory itself and the roots of the controversies that surround it. Here, you'll explore pre-Darwinian theories of the origins of life, from Genesis and the ancient Greeks to such 18th- and 19th-century scientists as Georges Cuvier. You'll follow the life and work of Charles Darwin, and the impact of his 1859 masterpiece, On the Origin of Species (the first printing of Origin of Species sold out on the first day).

You'll examine the history of evolutionary science after Darwin-including the "rediscovery" of Gregor Mendel's work on genetic variation and the discovery of Piltdown Man, a fake evolutionary "missing link," in 1912. And you'll trace the history of religious objections to evolution, from those of Darwin's own time to contemporary efforts to teach creation science in American schools. Richly detailed yet accessible to any curious mind, these lectures offer an invaluable perspective on the volatile history of what is arguably the single most significant idea of modern times.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses
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    • The Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy

    • Written by: Edward J. Larson, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Edward J. Larson
    • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
    • Original Recording
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    Charles Darwin's theory of organic evolution-the idea that life on earth is the product of purely natural causes, not the hand of God-set off shock waves that continue to reverberate through Western society, and especially the United States. What makes evolution such a profoundly provocative concept, so convincing to most scientists, yet so socially and politically divisive? These 12 eye-opening lectures are an examination of the varied elements that so often make this science the object of strong sentiments and heated debate.

    Price: CDN$ 20.09

    • Great Scientific Ideas That Changed the World

    • Written by: Steven L. Goldman, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Steven L. Goldman
    • Length: 17 hrs and 56 mins
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    What is the greatest scientific idea of all?Because science has so dramatically altered how we live and how we think about ourselves, the answer may well be the very idea of science itself, because-just like science's most important achievements-it, too, needed to be thought about, perfected, and invented.

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    • Survey of Science at a Breakneck Pace

    • By Amazon Customer on 2018-08-25

    Price: CDN$ 55.51

    • History of Science: Antiquity to 1700

    • Written by: The Great Courses, Lawrence M. Principe
    • Narrated by: Lawrence M. Principe
    • Length: 18 hrs and 31 mins
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    For well over 2,000 years, much of our fundamental "desire to know" has focused on science. Our commitment to science and technology has been so profound that these stand as probably the most powerful influences on human culture. To truly understand our Western heritage, our contemporary society, and ourselves as individuals, we need to know what science is and how it developed. In this 36-lecture series, one of science's most acclaimed teachers takes you through science's complex evolution of thought and discovery.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Insightful history

    • By Myrna Large on 2018-10-01

    Price: CDN$ 55.51

    • The History of Science: 1700-1900

    • Written by: Frederick Gregory, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Frederick Gregory
    • Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
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    The scientific theories that were first discovered and made public in the years 1700-1900 are some of the most pivotal in history. Landmark theories of planetary motion, the workings of nature, and the speed of light were all ideas that took the world by storm. Now you can share in that story of discovery in a series of 36 lectures designed to give you a rock-solid understanding of the great discoveries of Newton, Darwin, Franklin, Pasteur, and so many others.

    Price: CDN$ 55.51

    • Science in the Twentieth Century: A Social-Intellectual Survey

    • Written by: Steven L. Goldman, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Steven L. Goldman
    • Length: 17 hrs and 44 mins
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    In this fascinating 36-lecture exploration of scientific growth filled with ideas, anecdotes, and insights. You'll see how 20th-century scientists have built on crucial 19th-century concepts such as energy, natural selection, atoms, fields, and waves to assemble a body of knowledge to stun even the most farsighted scientific thinkers of that not-too-distant past.

    Price: CDN$ 55.51

    • Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Know It

    • Written by: Steven L. Goldman, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Steven L. Goldman
    • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
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    Choose one: (A) Science gives us objective knowledge of an independently existing reality.... or (B) Scientific knowledge is always provisional and tells us nothing that is universal, necessary, or certain about the world.Made your choice? Welcome to the science wars. This long-running battle over the status of scientific knowledge began in ancient Greece, raged furiously among scientists, social scientists, and humanists during the 1990s, and has reemerged in today's conflict between science and religion over issues like evolution.

    Price: CDN$ 46.25

    • Philosophy of Science

    • Written by: Jeffrey L. Kasser, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Jeffrey L. Kasser
    • Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
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    What makes science science? Why is science so successful? How do we distinguish science from pseudoscience? This exciting inquiry into the vigorous debate over the nature of science covers important philosophers such as Karl Popper, W. V. Quine, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, Imre Lakatos, Carl Hempel, Nelson Goodman, and Bas van Fraassen.

    Price: CDN$ 56.38

    • 12 Essential Scientific Concepts

    • Written by: The Great Courses, Indre Viskontas
    • Narrated by: Indre Viskontas
    • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
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    Science is such a vast arena of knowledge that people looking for a better grasp of its secrets often wonder where to begin. The answer: with the essentials. Now, finally satisfy your desire for scientific inquiry in a way that makes this enormous field accessible, understandable, and undeniably captivating.

    Price: CDN$ 46.98

    • The Origin and Evolution of Earth

    • From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence
    • Written by: Robert M. Hazen, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Robert M. Hazen
    • Length: 25 hrs and 15 mins
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    This course chronicles the history of Earth and life on Earth from the point of view of the minerals that made it all happen. A major theme is how minerals and life coevolved, leading to the unprecedented mineral diversity on our world compared to the other planets in the solar system. Professor Hazen tells this epic story in 48 action-packed lectures that take you from the big bang to the formation of the solar system to the major milestones that marked the evolution of Earth and life.

    Price: CDN$ 71.17

    • 36 Big Ideas

    • Written by: The Great Courses, Bart D. Ehrman, Daniel W. Drezner, and others
    • Narrated by: Bart D. Ehrman, Daniel W. Drezner, David Sadava, and others
    • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
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    The Great Courses has produced thousands of lectures that have introduced millions of lifelong learners to some of the biggest and most fascinating ideas that humans have ever thought. Now, enjoy 36 lectures specially curated from some of our most popular courses and get an interesting learning experience across a wide range of disciplines.

    Price: CDN$ 56.38

    • Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals

    • Written by: Elizabeth A. Murray, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: Elizabeth A. Murray
    • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
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    Modern history is filled with terrible crimes, baffling hoaxes, and seedy scandals. The infamous Jack the Ripper slayings. The alleged survival of Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of the murdered Tsar. Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong's public fall from grace. The Chicago Tylenol poisonings and the copycat crimes that followed.

    Price: CDN$ 46.98