The Origin of Species

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First published on November 24, 1859, The Origin of Species (full title On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life) by English naturalist Charles Darwin is one of the pivotal works in scientific history, and arguably the pre-eminent work in biology. In it, Darwin makes "one long argument,"with copious empircal examples as support, for his theory that "groups" of organisms, (now called populations) rather than individual organisms, gradually evolve through the process of natural selection—a mechanism effectively introduced to the public at large by the book. The work presents detailed scientific evidence he had accumulated both on the Voyage of the Beagle in the 1830s and since his return, painstakingly laying out his theory and refuting the doctrine of "Created kinds" underlying the theories of Creation biology which were then widely accepted.

Even for the non-specialist the book is quite readable, and it attracted widespread interest on publication. Although the ideas presented in it are supported by overwhelming scientific evidence and are widely accepted by scientists today, they are still, in some parts of the world, highly controversial, particularly among non-scientists who perceive them to contradict their own view of the facts and various religious texts (see Creation-evolution controversy).

Contents [hide]
1 Background
1.1 Before "The Origin"
1.2 Inception of Darwin's theory
1.3 First writings on the theory
2 Publication
2.1 Publication of The Origin
3 Darwin's theory, as presented
3.1 The basic theory
3.2 Variation and heredity
4 Public reaction
5 Misconceptions, and comparison to Wallace's theory
6 Philosophical implications
7 References
8 External links
9 See also

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Background
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Before "The Origin"
Main article: history of evolutionary thought
The idea of biological evolution was supported in Classical times by the...
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