Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

Nowadays, biologists take for granted that evolution occurred, but that wasn’t the case 150 years ago, when Darwin’s theory of evolution was introduced. Evolution is a simple and obvious idea if you think about it, but we needed Darwin to discover it. This series of articles covers much about Darwin’s life and work.

  1. What Was There Before Darwin: We are particularly interested in our own origin. All cultures have their creation myths. Since the Greeks started doing science, however, some men tried to give a rational explanation to the origin of life’s diversity. Let’s review what they had to say.

  2. De Maillet's Theory of Evolution: Among the earliest people to suggest that life had developed from simple to complex forms was Benoît de Maillet, who lived from 1656 to 1738. He realized his ideas were over the top for his day, so, he didn’t just come right out and declared the evolution of life to be his view.

  3. Darwin and Evolution: As a boy, young Charles developed a keen passion for nature. He was the kind of kid who loved to walk in the woods, collect bugs, go hunting and fishing. He generally spent time learning about different kinds of plants and animals. When Darwin started his voyage around the world, a long held view in science, and one that Darwin himself almost certainly subscribed to, was that all organisms were formed by a special creation, much as it is described in the book of Genesis.

  4. What is Natural Selection: Darwin’s main contribution was not to establish that evolution occurs, although he helped in that regard. His great achievement was his theory of natural selection. We call natural selection a theory, but it is a testable theory and has been tested many times.

  5. Examples of Natural Selection: Some examples of natural selection to make it clearer how it works in nature.

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