The Naturalist, 1868 Quoting Darwin “It is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
Bio Residence England Nationality BritishBritish Fields NaturalistNaturalist Academic advisors: Adam Sedgwick John Stevens HenslowAdam SedgwickJohn Stevens Henslow
Known for The Voyage of the Beagle On The Origin of Species Natural selection The Voyage of the Beagle On The Origin of Species Natural selection Influences Charles Lyell
Religious stance Church of England Unitarian family background Unitarian Agnostic after 1851Agnostic Notes He was a grandson of Erasmus Darwin and a grandson of Josiah Wedgwood, and married his cousin Emma WedgwoodErasmus DarwinJosiah WedgwoodEmma Wedgwood
Fathered 10 Children 2 died in infancy 1 died at age 10 2 sons researched and published papers with Darwin Note Darwin was always concerned that genetic weakness would be expressed in his children due to marriage to his cousin.
1831 Darwin was only 22 years old when he was invited to accompany Captain Robert Fitzroy (only 25) on the voyage of the Beagle. Darwin was highly recommended to Fitzroy by Henslow, Darwin’s Academic Advisor at Cambridge. Darwin was to be the Naturalists on this voyage and make observations and collect specimens to send back to scientists in England for classification and study.
The Voyage took 5 years The Galapagos Islands were a brief anomaly near the end of an expedition devoted to surveying the South American Coast line. He spent only 5 weeks on the islands. The observations that Darwin made on the mainland and the islands pointed out isolation and change within a species. Darwin collected fossils as well as skeletons and skins, feathers, etc of organisms throughout the voyage.
What did Darwin do with all those specimens? During the course of the voyage, Darwin was sending back the collected specimens via ship to England to his colleagues there for sorting and preservation for later observations. Darwin spent years after his voyage organizing, studying, analyzing, hypothesizing, discussing, getting opinions of others …he wanted to make sure he had necessary support for his theroy.
Malthusian Theory Quoting Darwin “In October 1838, I happened to read for amusement Malthus’ Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be a new species. Here then I had at last got hold of a theroy by which to work.”
Darwin never gave Lectures. And almost was not the first to Publish Origin through Natural Selection Darwin was sick for most of his life and did only writing and thinking and publishing. He authored many articles regarding the voyage He saved the best part until last….Origin of the Species through Natural Selection. He almost lost out in being the first to publish this theory. Alfred Wallace had arrived at the same conclusions as Darwin, but Darwin had more support data over a longer period of time than did Wallace.
Joint Communication Wallace and Darwin published the first publication of natural selection in 1859. This publication was 20 years after Darwin first drafted Origin of the Species and sent it to other colleagues to review.
Charles Lyell A good friend of both Darwin and Wallace. Geologist and expert in the earth’s strata Embraced the idea of Uniformitarianism The idea that the earth is shaped by slow moving forces still in operation today and acts over a very long period of time. This idea along with Malthusian theory supported Darwin and Wallace’s Origin through the mechanism of natural selection.
Darwin’s Conclusions The Origin of Species pointed out the basic tenets of the evolutionary process known as natural selection. It was noted that both animals and plants produce more offspring that ever survive. These organisms must struggle to survive and the survivors have some characteristic/s that give them an advantage and ability to cope with the conditions they encounter.
Darwin taught us how to use the Scientific Method appropriately Darwin demonstrated scientific thought and process to the public. He questioned the scientific process of how species are related morphologically. He began as any scientists, thorough and repeated observations that he made about animals and plants globally. He used facts to test out current thoughts of the populations about species changes and made practical and understandable explanations to address his theory.
Last Paragraph in Origin of the Species “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
Journal of Researches Darwin is Quoted “Where on the face of the earth can we find a spot, on which close investigation will not discover signs of that endless cycle of change, to which this earth has been, is, and will be subjected?”
Upon Darwin’s Death Grant Allen, The Academy, 1882 “At an age when many men are retiring from active life, Charles Darwin began the busiest part of his career. In 1859, the Origin of Species at least appeared. It was nothing less than a revolution; it marks the year 1 of a new era, not for science alone, but for every department of human thought---even of human action.”
Allen Continues….. “Yet this much may even now be said with certainty, that the influence of his thought upon the thought of the age has far outweighed any influence ever before exerted by a single man during his own lifetime. He has revolutionized, not biology alone, but all science; not science alone, but all philosophy; not philosophy alone, but human life.”
Smithsonian February 2009 Comparing Lincoln and Darwin Their general vision rises from the details and the nuance, their big ideas from small sightings. They shared logic as a form of eloquence, argument as a style of virtue, close reasoning as a form of uplift.
“Nothing is biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution.” Theodosius Dobzhansky, Geneticist, 1973
Evolution is the thread, the common link among all the divisions of biology. Nothing in the biological sciences would make sense in the absence of our knowledge of evolution. Thanks to the wisdom of Charles Darwin and his colleagues. J. Dewey Brown, 2009 University of Richmond
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