Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. (Dobzhanski, 1973) It was during his journey on board the Beagle that Darwin developed his theory of evolution. “On the Origin of Species” (Darwin, 1859) proposed two main principles: evolution really occurs and natural selection is its mechanism. This work published on 24th November 1859 traces a coherent portrait of life bringing together in an orderly manner an astonishing variety of apparently independent facts. It led biologists to concentrate on the diversity of organisms, their origins and their relation, their similarities and their differences, their geographical distribution and their adaptation to various environments. Darwin (1859) arrived at two main conclusions. • All species on earth descend from ancestral species and he presents a mechanism explaining evolution called natural selection. • Natural selection results in adaptive evolution (prevalence of hereditary characteristics favouring the survival and the reproduction of organisms in different environments). Evolution: Historical Controversy In order to fully understand Darwin’s vision, it is important to understand the historical context and compare it to the previous ideas on Earth and life on Earth. “On the Origin of Species” (Darwin, 1859) revolutionized the ideas of the time: not only did it question the scientific ideas but it also questioned the basis of occidental culture. Darwin’s vision opposed the vision of a world made of immutable species created in a week by a Creator who modelled the whole universe. Philosophers such as Plato (428-348 BC) and Aristotle (384-322 BC), who had a major influence on occidental culture, would have opposed to the idea of evolution. Plato cou... ... middle of paper ... ...ptation and the emergence of new species were linked. If two groups of individuals from the same species were separated, finches for example, and placed in different environments, then after many generations, the two groups will have accumulated differences making it possible to differentiate two distinct species. The Galapagos finches can be differentiated by the size of their beak, which is adapted to the food available on the islands. Darwin had an intuition of the importance of these mechanisms to explain evolution. In the early 1840s, the main principles of Darwin’s theory of evolution were formulated by the mechanism of natural selection; however, he did not publish it. Although evolutionary theory sprouted in many places, Darwin rejected the publication of his theory, and it was not until 1859 that he published “On the Origin of Species” (Darwin, 1859).
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"Charles Darwin: The Father of Evolution." Darwin1. University of Missouri, n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.
The Darwinian theories were never complex in theory, and somewhat intuitive. His theory of evolution was derived after voyaging on the HMS Beagle 1831 through 1836. The study of specimens from the voyage convinced Darwin that modern species had evolved from a few earlier ones. He documented the evidence and first presented his theories on evolution to a meeting of scientists in 1858. In most cases, according to Darwin, no two members of any species are exactly alike. Each organism has an individual combination of traits, and most of these traits are inherited. Darwin pointed out that gardeners and farmers commonly developed special kinds of plants and animals by selecting and breeding organisms that had desired traits. He believed that a similar kind of selective process took place in nature. Darwin called this process natural selection, or the survival of the fittest. He showed that living things commonly prod...
Anyone with even a moderate background in science has heard of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. Since the publishing of his book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859, Darwin’s ideas have been debated by everyone from scientists to theologians to ordinary lay-people. Today, though there is still severe opposition, evolution is regarded as fact by most of the scientific community and Darwin’s book remains one of the most influential ever written.
Charles Darwin came up with the theory of evolution and used the term natural selection to describe it. He proposed that all living species derived from a common ancestor. In On the Origin of Species (1859), Darwin explained: “if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterised will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principles of inheritance, will then tend to produce offspring similarly characterised” (p127).
Contrary to many assumptions, evolutionary theory did not begin with Charles Darwin in 1859. Actually, ideas similar to evolution had existed since the times of the Ancient Greeks. The idea of evolution teetered in and out between the time of the Greeks and Victorian England. In Darwin's time, evolution was called “descent with modification”(Thinkquest.org). During the eighteenth century, two church officials provided convincing biblical explanations for biological diversity; Separate Creation: the idea that all creatures have been created uniquely by God and organized into a hierarchy with man ranking just below God, and stating the earth is 6,000 years old (berkeley.edu./history/buffon).
Keith Henson a writer in evolutionary psychology once said that “Evolution acts slowly. Our psychological characteristics today are those that promoted reproductive success in the ancestral environment.” Evolution was first introduced by a naturalist by the name of Charles Darwin. Darwin had written an autobiography, at the age of 50, On the Origin of Species (1859) explaining how species evolve through time by natural selection; this theory became known as Darwinism. “Verlyn Klinkenborg, who writes editorials and vignettes on science and nature for the “New York Times”” (Muller 706) questions Darwin’s theory in one of his essays he wrote called Darwin at 200: The Ongoing Force of His Unconventional Idea. Both articles talk about the theory of Darwinism, but the authors’ use different writing techniques and were written in different time periods. Darwin himself writes to inform us on what the theory is, where as Klinkenborg goes on to explain why Darwinism is just a theory. Today, evolution is still a very controversial topic among many. It comes up in several topics that are discussed everyday such as in politics, religion and education.
In 1859, Charles Darwin set out his exploration of the evolution by natural selection as an explanation for adaptation and speciation 1859. Darwin characterized natural selection as the rule by which each variety of a trait, if valuable, is safeguarded. Another researcher, Alfred Russell Wallace, came to a similar conclusion, but because Darwin was well-known and respected researcher even before he composed On the Origin of Species, Wallace was obscure and unknown, so individuals were more likely to listen to Darwin. Darwin's theory comprised of two key emphases which were varied gatherings of creatures advance from one or a couple of basic predecessors of adaptation. And the component by which this development happens is natural selection.
In 1859, Charles Darwin revealed his theory of evolution by natural selection in his famous book “On the Origin of Species.” Natural selection is the process by which organisms evolve over time to allow for better adaption to its environment in order to survive and have more offspring.1
There are numerous theories that have been put across as far as the process of evolution. However, it was Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection that became the most accepted. Darwin’s theory is built on the basis that all living organisms are related but have modified over time from the original common ancestor as affirmed by (Fisher 7). Darwin claimed that all forms of life once came from non-life but as these organisms continued to mutate based on the environment in which they were in, they transformed and completely changed from the original creature. The theory of natural selection argues that those organisms that have favorable genetic traits that are most appropriate to the environment enabling them to adapt to it, stand a better chance of surviving and reproducing offspring’s in order to increase their population. The theory of natural selection in evolution claims that if an organism has inferior genetic traits, it will have difficulties adapting to its
My term paper is an exercise in an attempt to an intellectual analysis of ‘On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection’ written by Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin was born in England in 1809. Charles attended the University of Edinburgh where he aspired to learn about medicine. Charles decided that vocation was not the right one for him so he then enrolled at Cambridge University. It was at Cambridge where Charles Darwin earned a degree in theology. Darwin continued to study and learn about natural science.
Charles Darwin founded the principle of natural selection, which describes how organisms that adapt better in an environment will survive better and produces more offspring (Natural, 2004). Darwin first noticed evolution after being on the Galápagos Islands; here, he noticed that geological separation played an important role on how organisms adapted and formed new species (College, 2009). When species live in a new environment, they adapt differently and eventually these organisms will change over time, which is known as evolution (College, 2009).
Darwin writes on how a species will adapt to its environment given enough time. When an animal gains a genetic edge over its competitors, be they of the same species or of another genus altogether, the animal has increased its chance of either procreation or adaptation. When this animal has this beneficial variance, the advantage becomes his and because of this, the trait is then passed on to the animals offspring.