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 Edward Blyth 1810-1873. Early Life  Born in London in 1810  Father died shortly after, leaving Edward to take care of family  Never attended a formal.

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Presentation on theme: " Edward Blyth 1810-1873. Early Life  Born in London in 1810  Father died shortly after, leaving Edward to take care of family  Never attended a formal."— Presentation transcript:

1  Edward Blyth

2 Early Life  Born in London in 1810  Father died shortly after, leaving Edward to take care of family  Never attended a formal university  Studied chemistry under Mr. Keating  Pharmacist, author, and editor  Never made substantial amount of money  Curator at Asiatic Society of Bengal  Father of Indian ornithology

3 Ornithology  Study of birds  Concentrated research in India while working for the museum  Proceedings of the Zoological Society ( )  Species of birds in India and Europe  Field Naturalist (1840)  Genus Ovis (sheep species)  Catalogue of the Birds of the Asiatic Society (1849)

4 Blyth vs. Darwin  Lived during same time period, though Blyth did not necessarily believe in evolution  Darwin stole ideas from Blyth?  1835 and Blyth expands on ideas presented by Charles Lyell concerning natural and sexual selection in The Magazine of Natural History  While on the Beagle, Darwin had access to The Magazine of Natural History  Darwin began first notebook concerning species  Blyth’s last notebook mysteriously belongs to Darwin without being published

5 Blyth vs. Darwin (cont’d)  Darwin stole ideas from Blyth? (cont’d)  Similar word choice between Blyth’s papers and Darwin’s Origin of Species  “inosculate”  Blyth’s views of natural selection  Did not believe in the idea of a common ancestor  Man is a creation of God and different from all other animals

6 Magazine of Natural History (1835)  Four varieties of animals:  Simple variations  Acquired variations  Breeds  True variety  Racial color is a fixed trait  Changes in traits are made by “Providence”  Left his ideas open for interpretation

7 Later Years  Returned back to London to recover from illness  Fell into debt  Attempted to help write a book, Birds of India, but suffered from a mental breakdown  Led to becoming an alcoholic  Convicted of assault  Died from heart disease in 1873  Never truly recognized for the inspiration he gave Darwin  Still seen as huge contributor to ornithology

8 Major Works  Magazine of Natural History (1835 and 1837)  Proceedings of the Zoological Society ( )  Field Naturalist (1840)  Animal Kingdom (edited section on Mammalia, Birds and Reptiles in 1840)  Catalogue of the Birds of the Asiatic Society (1849)  Catalogue of the Mammals and Birds of Burma (1875)

9 Summary  Father of Indian ornithology  Spent years studying birds in India as the curator of the Asiatic Society of Bengal  Wrote about ideas that were possibly stolen by Darwin  Theorized about variations of animals  Inspiration for “survival of the fittest” theory  Sadly forgotten and never truly advanced himself during his lifetime

10 win2Html.htm Eiseley, Loren. Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X. New York: E.P. Dutton, References


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