As the world marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, his influence on the world is as enormous as ever. Whatever you think of his ideas, there’s no doubt that they have shaped science and profoundly affected many aspects of contemporary culture. Darwin’s meticulous work established the natural sciences as a serious scientific discipline for the first time. If this was Darwin’s only legacy, he would still be a towering figure in the history of science. But for most people, his name is linked only with On the Origin of Species. [...]
In another article I have given three reasons for the general appeal of all Dan Brown's novels: he is good at telling exciting stories; the books are full of puzzles, codes and mysteries; and they are all about conspiracy theories, which, in our suspicious age, are immensely popular. But there is a far more significant reason […]
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