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The Influence of Darwin

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species has been voted the most influential academic book, LiveScience reports.

As part of Academic Book Week in the UK, an online poll from a group of academic booksellers asked the public which book from a list of 20 was the most influential. That list contain books ranging from Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time to A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft and from William Shakespeare's Complete Works to Plato's The Republic.

Darwin's On the Origin of Species led the poll. LiveScience notes that the book courted controversy from the day it appeared. Many, it says, took "issue with its implications for religion and the origin of human beings." Still, its theories "have been validated time and again, and there is now broad scientific consensus that evolutionary theory explains how species, including humans, got to be the way they are."