Monad to Man: The Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology

by Michael Ruse
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996. 640 pages.

Does evolution really result in "progress"? What do you mean by "progress"? Philosopher and historian of science Michael Ruse traces how the "Enlightenment's philosophy of progress was transferred wholesale into the biology of the time, so that emerging ideas about biological evolution became permeated from the start by a belief in progress." The connection between belief in progress and biological theorizing is, for Ruse, fundamental for understanding the history of evolutionary theory.