The Springer journal Naturwissenschaften is publishing a special issue "Beyond the Origin: Charles Darwin and Modern Biology" to commemorate Darwin's On the Origin of Species which was published 150 years ago in November 1859. Guest editor and author of the lead article is Dr. Ulrich Kutschera, professor of plant physiology and evolutionary biology at the University of Kassel in Germany. All articles in this special issue are available free of charge until 30 December 2009 on Springer's online information platform www.springerlink.com.
Prof. Kutschera said, "In this special issue, the entire spectrum of Darwin's seminal contributions to the biological and geological sciences is covered in the light of our current knowledge. Darwin was not only the most famous evolutionary biologist of his time, but also a zoologist, psychologist, animal taxonomist, botanist, plant physiologist and philosopher of science. He strictly separated religious dogma from scientific fact and theory. This Darwinian separation of empirical data from the belief in Biblical miracles was the 'big bang' for biology, which, in the wake of Darwin's Origin of Species, evolved from an 'art of collecting beetles' into the most influential science of the 21st century."
Five articles are included in the special Darwin issue. The lead article "Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, directional selection, and the evolutionary sciences today," is followed by "Darwin's warm little pond revisited: from molecules to the origin of life," "Charles Darwin, beetles and phylogenetics," and "The predictability of evolution: glimpses into a post-Darwinian world." The issue concludes with the article "Evolutionary plant physiology: Charles Darwin's forgotten synthesis."
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