In his introduction, Darwin reveals that for many years he had no intention of publishing his notes on this topic, 'as I thought that I should thus only add to the prejudices against my views'. By 1871, he felt that his fellow scientists would show a greater openness of mind to his arguments, even when taken to their logical conclusion and applied to the descent of man from the apes – the aspect of his theory which had been so widely mocked since the notorious question asked by Bishop Wilberforce at the Oxford debate of 1860: was it through his grandmother or his grandfather that Thomas Huxley, Darwin's champion, considered himself descended from a monkey? However, the book's focus on the area of sexual selection and the evolutionary importance of secondary sexual characteristics across the animal kingdom meant that the book was received without the public outrage that Darwin had feared.
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About the Author
Charles Robert Darwin FRS (12 February 1809 - 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist who realised and presented compelling evidence that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors, through the process he called natural selection. The fact that evolution occurs became accepted by the scientific community and much of the general public in his lifetime, but it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed that natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.
Date of Birth:February 12, 1809
Date of Death:April 19, 1882
Place of Birth:Shrewsbury, England
Place of Death:London, England
Education:B.A. in Theology, Christ¿s College, Cambridge University, 1831