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The theory is not science, Wilson concludes, just another offering in a bazaar of “ersatz religions”.Wilson maintains that Darwin’s theory is wrong and not the basis of current knowledge.It’s hard to see how any care for either historical or scientific accuracy could result in such a book.Throughout, Wilson bashes Darwin for supposed arrogance, dishonesty and incompetence and trots out a long line of old anti-Darwin myths: for example, that Darwin stole ideas from Edward Blyth, whom Wilson mistakes for an evolutionist.This differential survival (or selection) in effect filters living things to become adapted to a changing world.DNA evidence indicates that all living things are related genealogically on a vast ever-branching tree of life. Wilson instead erroneously describes variations in “species”, not individuals, and he mocks a “Darwinian” scenario in which the short-necked ancestors of today’s giraffes were supposedly “panting to reach those leaves, but without success”. Wilson’s book contains numerous and serious factual errors such as “if Darwin were correct, there would be hundreds, thousands of examples” of transitional fossils. Darwin’s first grandchild did not die in childbirth as Wilson states.Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted, and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London.His 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris, is his best-known work of historical fiction.

Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, as any competent reference work describes, is about the differential survival of individual living things based on tiny differences between them.The current view of life on Earth is precisely one of changing lineages branching from common ancestors.This, and not the speed of change, is the core of Darwin’s theory.The other component of Darwinism, according to Wilson, is “that evolutionary progress happens by conflict”.Here is the common misunderstanding that the struggle that occurs because some animals live and some die means conscious fighting.

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