Charles Darwin's Ideas

Topics: Charles Darwin, Evolution, Natural selection Pages: 3 (1003 words) Published: July 22, 2013
Charles Darwin’s Ideas
After reading the book “Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin, I would place Darwin halfway between “creative genius” and “spin doctor” if there was a spectrum. The way he thinks and examines a theory was really outstanding, even the extraneous amount of research he has accomplished was there to back his theories up. Reading the book made me realized that he did “borrow” the ideas from other people, such as Charles Lyell, Jean-Baptist Lamarck, William Paley and Thomas Malthus. Charles Darwin used their ideas to formulate another theory based on that. I wouldn’t personally say that he stole their ideas completely, because Darwin did conduct his own experiments to prove his new theory. Several ideas that Darwin “borrowed” included the struggle for existence, principle of uniformity, organic evolution, the caloric theory and the adaptation theory. Darwin agreed with some of the ideas, but he also gave the others a new spin and made it his own.

The idea of the struggle for existence came from Charles Lyell and Thomas Malthus; it was not Charles Darwin’s original thesis and he never claimed it as his own. In fact, he credited Malthus in the “Origin of Species” for this idea. Instead of claiming it as his own, he highlighted the others’ work that helped him formulate his theory. Lyell and Malthus thought that the struggle for existence was a force in nature that kept nature in balance. The drive to continue living, changed the organism to shape it’s characteristics to survive in the future. Darwin believes that it a creative force that created a new life. He figured that fitter organisms would most likely survive and reproduce, while the less fit would struggle for survival. In his book, he related this theory onto why some species of plants and animals become extinct and why others survive.

Another theory that Darwin borrowed was the principle of uniformity from Charles Lyell. Lyell used the geological principle which stated that the...
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