Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Darwin Killed Off The Werewolf

Date:
June 30, 2009
Source:
British Society for the History of Science
Summary:
It was Darwinian theory that did away with the werewolf. The publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species exactly 150 years ago focused minds on a different kind of monster – ape-men such as the Yeti, Bigfoot and Sasquatch. From then onwards, werewolves were relegated to a fictional footnote.

19th century image of a werewolf.
Credit: Copyright Brian Regal

It was Darwinian theory that did away with the werewolf. For much of recorded history, humans have reserved their greatest fears for dog-human hybrids like the werewolf. These beasts were once thought to be real, hiding behind every tree waiting for the unsuspecting traveler.

But, argues Brian Regal, assistant professor of the history of science at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, USA, the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species 150 years ago focused minds on a different kind of monster – ape-men such as the Yeti, Bigfoot and Sasquatch.

Regal will present his thesis in July at the annual meeting of the British Society for the History of Science in Leicester, UK. He will use period artwork to chart the ‘evolution’ of the werewolf into Bigfoot.

From the late 19th century onwards, stories of werewolf encounters tailed away significantly, says Regal. “The spread of the idea of evolution helped kill off the werewolf because a canid-human hybrid makes no sense from an evolutionary point of view,” he says. “The ape-human hybrid, however, is not only evolutionarily acceptable, it is the basis of human evolution.”

Today, in Darwin’s bicentenary year, werewolves have been relegated to films.When it comes to the actual monster scene, it’s Bigfoot thatnow dominates.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Society for the History of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

British Society for the History of Science. "Darwin Killed Off The Werewolf." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616080135.htm>.
British Society for the History of Science. (2009, June 30). Darwin Killed Off The Werewolf. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616080135.htm
British Society for the History of Science. "Darwin Killed Off The Werewolf." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616080135.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Did ISIS Destroy Jonah's Tomb?

Newsy (July 25, 2014) Unverified footage posted to YouTube purportedly shows ISIS militants destroying a shrine widely believed to be the tomb of the prophet Jonah. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

AFP (July 25, 2014) Visitors will be able to look down from a glass walkway on the grave of King Richard III when a new centre opens in the English cathedral city of Leicester, where the infamous hunchback was found under a car park in 2012. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins