Darwin

Topics: Charles Darwin, Natural selection, Evolution Pages: 5 (1309 words) Published: May 25, 2014


Darwin's Evolution by Natural Selection

Darwin's Evolution by Natural Selection
Charles Darwin is known in the science community as one of the pioneers of the theory of evolution. While many people believe that Darwin founded the theory of evolution, he actually didn’t. The theory of evolution actually dates back to the ancient Greeks. Greek philosopher Anaximander actually began the theory of life developing from non-life and the gradual evolution of man from animal. However, Darwin brought something completely new to some of the old evolution theories. That new additive became known as Natural Selection. Charles Darwin’s education at Cambridge University actually knew him as a God loving man. Firmly believing in creationism and especially the Book of Genesis found in the Bible, Darwin destined to become a clergyman at the Church of England and so decided to earn a degree in Theology. Darwin befriended a professor by the name of John Stevens Henslow while at Cambridge. Henslow introduced Darwin to Captain FitzRoy of the HMS Beagle which was a research ship preparing to set sail on a five year voyage. Darwin was invited to sail aboard the HMS Beagle, which took him along the coasts of South America. While on the Voyage, Darwin entertained himself with a book given to him by Henslow. Sir Charles Lyell, who was a Geologist, and wrote the book Principle’s of Geology in which it provided a geologic timescale, wrote the book. This geologic timescale was the turning point for Darwin’s firm belief in creationism. Darwin’s mind was forever changed by the writings in Lyell’s Principle’s of Geology. Not only did Lyell’s writing completely oppose the Bibles Genesis account, but is also turned Darwin against the Church of England and developed him into one of the church’s biggest opponents. Between Lyell’s writing and his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle, Darwin developed what is known today as the process of “natural selection”. According to Darwin’s natural selection, all life basically comes from one thing. Meaning, we as humans were not always humans. We are basically a “positive mutation” of something else. Darwin believed that the mechanism of natural selection to be the basis for life as we know it. However, scientific advances of today’s generation place some serious questions on Darwin’s natural selection process. Particularly in regards to the actual creation of new life versus the actual modification of current life forms. For instance, whales. Were whales once land mammals before they learned to swim in the ocean with their mouths wide open capturing fish? Darwin once theorized the question in relation to the way bears hunted in the water. Darwin observed the way bears would enter the water and swim with their mouths open in hopes to catch insects. However, this theory, which he quoted in his book “Origin of Species”, was so greatly ridiculed by his colleagues and the public that it was actually later removed from the book. Though his natural selection did have its shortcomings, it was and still is a well-respected theory with evidence to prove its existence. What evidence did Darwin’s natural selection provide? Here we can look at Darwin’s voyage upon the HMS Beagle and his encounter with finches in and around the Galapagos Islands off the coast of South America. While on the mainland of South America, Darwin observed a type of finch inhabiting the area. Darwin studied the finch specie and tried to look for different variations, but to no avail. Darwin observed no changes in the finches while on the mainland. However, this was not the case when he started exploring the Galapagos Islands. Darwin was quick to notice a variation in the species of finches, particularly in their beak area. The amazing part was that the finches were actually different from one island to the next. Darwin quickly related this variation to the environment and theorized that the difference was due to...

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Mechanisms of Change. (2006). Evolution 101. Retrieved from http://WWW.UMCP.BERKELEY.EDU, EVOLUTION.BERKELEY.EDU
Wool, D. (2006). The driving forces of evolution. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers.
www. (2013). Darwin and natural selection. Retrieved from http://www.anthro.palomar.edu/evolve/evolve_2.htm
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