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Letter to Darwin

By AlexDavie1 May 07, 2013 741 Words
April 11, 1866
Dear Professor Jeffrey Fredrickson,
I am appalled to read your criticism on Mr. Darwin’s magnificent work. I am confused how you have taken Darwin’s work and his theory and have not seen them in the same light that I did. Although Jeffery, I do agree and Darwin would agree, that his theory in this modern day’s science is far fetched. Darwin does a great job of providing evidence to his theory and great illustrations on how he came up with his theory and the mechanics of it. So Jeffery, in order to help you understand Mr. Darwin’s work for its true essence, I am going to render an explanation for your criticisms/concerns. In Darwin’s theory, my colleague, I hope you will see the new transformation of science that he has created and how his theory will help us to understand more about our own existence and transformations. The first issue that I see that you are having is whether or not we should expect to see transitional forms and links between one species and another. I see that you are expecting a link between one species to another especially through fossil records. However, I do believe you have missed the fact that modifications have happened over a slow gradual process, which is one of the points Darwin has made. As a human we tend to look at something and see relationships between two things that look similar at first glace, and fail to look for deeper connections. The same can be true with “all those gaps in the fossil record”. Darwin says that If we compare these species where they intermingle, they are generally as absolutely distinct from each other in every detail of structure as are specimens taken from the metropolis inhabited by each. By my theory these allied species have descended from a common parent; and during the process of modification, each has become adapted to the conditions of life of its own region, and has supplanted and exterminated its original parent and all the transitional varieties between its past and present states. If you look at the anatomical and homologous structures, you will see the species have a common link between them. This could be through two different species that at first glance seems to be dissimilar. But, if you look at the species’ structural developments, and bone functions over time, you will see a common link between these species and their ancestral grandparent. Thus we can see, transitional forms from one species to another. Jeffery, you say that Darwin’s theory calls for random changes, and you don’t see how they could keep the parts coordinated as a whole or how there are transitions of organic beings with peculiar habits. But it is not that he parts do not correspond. Because species adapt to their every changing environment their structural functions adapt with them. If an environment forces a species to use a particular body part more than another said part will grow stronger and others will become weaker. As time goes on, the structure is modified for the adaption and passed on to descendants. One part of the structure disappears and others replace it. The same is true for “organic beings with peculiar habits”. While their ancestors behaved one way, this species’ present environment requires different behavioral instincts. A good example of this is the adaption of the North American woodpecker. In North America there are woodpeckers which feed largely on fruit, and others with elongated wings which chase insects on the wing; and on the plains of La Plata, where not a tree grows, there is a woodpecker, which in every essential part of its organisation, even in its colouring, in the harsh tone of its voice, and undulatory flight, told me plainly of its close blood-relationship to our common species; yet it is a woodpecker which never climbs a tree! This example proves that the woodpecker does not behave as expected because of the unexpected environment. Thus showing how the environment forces the woodpecker to adapt to the transition of a treeless lifestyle, portraying “peculiar habits”. In conclusion, my dear friend, I believe you should reconsider your criticisms on Darwin’s Origin of Species. A closer reading will enlighten you on Darwin’s work and help you to comprehend as I did. Please attempt to reread with an open mind, and a heart for science. Your esteemed colleague and dear friend,

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