South University Online
Darwin and His Theory of Evolution
Charles Darwin was an English naturalist born February 12, 1809. Darwin was interested in how both man and plants came to be the way they are currently. After a great deal of research he wrote a book titled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, which was published in 1859. Through this book, Darwin created the term “descent with modification”, or what we now call “evolution”. According to Simon, Reece, & Dickey, the process of natural selection is one in which “the environment “selects” only certain heritable traits from those already existing” (Simon, Reece, & Dickey, 2013). This process is commonly called adaptation. It is through this process that many species survives generation from generation. Darwin came about this theory through two primary observations, those of “overproduction and competition” and “individual variation” (Simon, Reece, & Dickey, 2013). The observation of overproduction and competition showed Darwin that all species have the potential of reproducing an overabundance of offspring that the environment cannot hope to be able to support. This overabundance of a life form causes a certain amount of competition among the life forms that are occupying said area. As a species, humans see individual variation on a daily basis. All one need do is to look at another human to see that no two people are exactly alike. Even identical twins are not exactly the same in that each one has unique fingerprints. This serves as support for Darwin’s observation of individual variation. These two observations led Darwin to the inevitable conclusion of “unequal reproductive success” (Simon, Reece, & Dickey, 2013). Simon, Reece, & Dickey explain this unequal success as “those individuals with heritable traits best suited to the local environment are more likely to have the greatest reproductive success: They...