Charles darwin theory of evolution research paper

Of course, innumerable developments in evolutionary theory have taken place since the time of Darwin, and some of Darwin's concepts have proven wrong. Darwin accepted both the principle of use and disuse ( Lamarck 's "First Law") and the formulation of inheritance of acquired characteristics (Lamarck's "Second Law"). In The Origin of Species, he stated that "there can be little doubt that use in our domestic animals strengthens and enlarges certain parts and disuse diminishes them; and that such modifications are inherited." Indeed, Darwin devoted an entire section in chapter 5 to the concept of use and disuse. However, since Darwin's time the concepts of use and disuse and the inheritance of acquired characteristics have been generally discredited. Also, since Darwin's time, there has been a melding of evolutionary theory with ecology , behavioral biology, and molecular biology, and the laws governing inheritance have been greatly illuminated.

Charles Darwin - Origin of Species and Natural Selection
Charles Darwin returned to England in 1836. In 1839, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and, five days later, married to his cousin Emma Wedgwood, who bore him 10 children. In 1842, Darwin began drafting his Origin of Species . Darwin's work was heavily influenced by Lyell's Principles of Geology and Thomas Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798). Origin of Species was ultimately published in 1859.

Darwin didn't invent the evolutionary worldview. He simply brought something new to the old philosophy: a plausible mechanism called "natural selection." In his Origin of Species , Darwin proposed natural selection as the mechanism by which all life could have descended from a common ancestor (Darwin defined evolution as "descent with modification"). However, today we know that natural selection is a deficient mechanism, even in light of genetic mutation. In fact, with the tremendous advances we've made in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics over the past fifty years, Darwin's theory has become "a theory in crisis." [2]

Darwin unveiled his theory in 1859 in his book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. He was certainly not the first to theorise that man was descended from animals - Greek philosophers such as Anaximander and Empedocles had advanced this view as early as the 6th century BC. However through his keen insights as a biologist, Darwin was able to demonstrate the scientific basis for evolution: a concept which he called 'natural selection'. By observing different species, Darwin saw that there is variation in every population and that within these groups there is competition for limited resources such as food, water and shelter from predators. The creatures that survive this 'struggle for existence' pass on their favourable heritable traits to their offspring, and because more offspring are produced than can survive, this process of 'natural selection' continues. The process later became popularly known as 'the survival of the fittest'.

He read John Herschel 's new Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy , learning that nature was governed by laws, and the highest aim of natural philosophy was to understand them through an orderly process of induction , balancing observation and theorising. This exemplified the natural theology that Darwin had learnt in previous years. [22] [27] He also read Alexander von Humboldt 's Personal Narrative , and the two books were immensely influential, stirring up in him "a burning zeal to add even the most humble contribution to the noble structure of Natural Science." [23]

Darwin's exposure to specimens all over the globe raised important questions. Other naturalists believed that all species either came into being at the start of the world, or were created over the course of natural history. In either case, the species were believed to remain much the same throughout time. Darwin, however, noticed similarities among species all over the globe, along with variations based on specific locations, leading him to believe that they had gradually evolved from common ancestors. He came to believe that species survived through a process called "natural selection," where species that successfully adapted to meet the changing requirements of their natural habitat thrived, while those that failed to evolve and reproduce died off.

Charles darwin theory of evolution research paper

charles darwin theory of evolution research paper

He read John Herschel 's new Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy , learning that nature was governed by laws, and the highest aim of natural philosophy was to understand them through an orderly process of induction , balancing observation and theorising. This exemplified the natural theology that Darwin had learnt in previous years. [22] [27] He also read Alexander von Humboldt 's Personal Narrative , and the two books were immensely influential, stirring up in him "a burning zeal to add even the most humble contribution to the noble structure of Natural Science." [23]

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