Darwin- The Origin of Species

Length: 5 Pages 1137 Words

On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin, is a scientific abstract about revolutionary ideas on evolution and the diversity of species from the evolutionary process. This book was originally a personal journal while Darwin was touring onboard the ship H.M.S. Beagle as the naturalist. The ship sailed along the west coast of South America and stopped by islands that were later called the Galapagos Islands. Darwin discovered new sub-divisions of species that were on mainland South America and started hypothesizing on how so many different kinds of sub-divisions could occur. He eventually formed the journal into an informal scientific abstract and let colleagues, who later urged Darwin to publish the abstract, read and critique his ideas. The book was published in 1859 and within fifteen years of the publication the majority of the scientific community accepted Darwin's ideas as fact. Darwin wrote on his ideas that included new insights on the processes of evolution, gradualism, population speciation, common descent, and natural selection. Natural selection is probably the most unique and radical idea about which Darwin wrote, but his other insights were also to play an important role in how the scientific community would vi Continue...

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This is called the "struggle for existence" or competition. Using the example given in Origin about natural selection, say when a giraffe is born with a longer neck than its herd, it gains an advantage because it is able to reach more food. It was strange in some parts to read and know more about the mechanisms of certain processes than the author did at that time. So now natural selection had a process to it also. This idea of gradualism also led to many changes in the field of geology. He observes that on different continents, along the coasts, there are coinciding fossils of the same basic species, however different sub-divisions. But the struggle would be most severe between the individuals of the same species because they lived in the same areas, ate the same kind of food and are exposed to the same kind of dangers. The book goes over the prior theory of why a species may flourish or become extinct. This theory developed out of another theory that larger, more complex species evolved form simpler ones. Although Darwin did not know himself the reason behind heredity of certain traits, he strongly believed in the mechanism of natural selection as a process of evolution. Darwin took this concept a step further by saying that there are changes within a species that help it survive. This leaves the gene pool with the long-neck gene, so it could be stated that all giraffes will eventually gain long necks through heredity. It was found that each species require a certain niche in nature; they need their own food, water, territory and sometimes these niches overlap with the niches of another species which creates competition for survival. Darwin's outlook on evolution, besides the fact that it was actually plausible, was much different than his colleague's views.


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