Charles Darwin laid the groundwork for our modern understanding of evolution. In his 1859 book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Darwin presented novel evidence-based concepts about the diversity of life and common descent, which also cleared the way for the heretical idea that no supernatural creator was needed for the evolution of new life on this planet.

But as Rebecca Stott shows in her book Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution, these ideas were thousands of years in the making. Charles Darwin may have been the one to publish the book that revolutionized biology, but scientists and philosophers from Aristotle to Alfred Russel Wallace had been speculating about the origins of life for years and centuries prior.

Tune in to Atheists Talk this Sunday as we speak with Rebecca Stott about Al-Jahiz, Leonardo da Vinci, Denis Diderot and others who helped shape the way we learned about how life propogates on this planet, and how finally, through Darwin's writings, we vocalized our understanding of evolution by natural selection.

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