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A Naturalist at his Best Darwin’s ‘Theory Evolution’ a Scientific Landmark – Charles Darwin
Scientist Charles Darwin (1809 to 1882), one of the foremost naturalists was rebuked by his father, “You care for nothing but dogs, shooting and rat-catching.
You will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family”, not knowing that Darwin would one day produce monumental work on evolution.
Scientist Charles Darwin was born on February 12 in 1809 in Shrewsbury, England on the same day as Abraham Lincoln was born. He entered medical school but got disgusted with operations performed without anesthesia, hence left medical studies.
Scientist Charles Darwin received B.A. degree in 1831. He embarked on a 5-year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle, which was a turning point in his life to become a naturalist.
Before Darwin’s time, it was held that each species of life on earth made its appearance separately, and that none had ever changed its form. Darwin disproved this and postulated that all living things on earth have descended from common ancestors, and evolved over millions of years.
Scientist Charles Darwin propounded the theory that species evolve from other species. All living beings (plants and animals) have evolved in an orderly way; not only that, they continue to change.
“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.”
– Harold Wilson
Scientist Charles Darwin had keen powers of observation. The voyage on H.M.S. Beagle was full of adventure. He collected plants, rocks, insects, animals and fossils for study. He interviewed civilized American beautiful ladies called by him as “nice round mermaids”, and in contrast uncivilized savages from islands.
The strange iguana (lizard family), the tortoises and the finches (bird family) on the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific, attracted his attention first.He was puzzled to note that similar, yet quite different, forms of the same animals appeared in different islands.
This observation gave a clue to his theory of evolution. In the case of evolution in man the ancestor species was a figure common to himself and the ape.
Why living things change from generation to generation? Human population tended to grow (increase) faster than the food supply available.
This increase triggered the struggle for food and thereby a struggle for existence. As far as animals are concerned, man tries to reproduce species of animals with selected coveted qualities (e.g., Ongole bull, a pride of Andhra Pradesh, India).
In the case of wild animals, those most capable of obtaining food would survive — “Survival of the fittest” theory.
In the struggle for existence, Darwin declared, “Favourable variations would tend to be preserved and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species.”
Scientist Darwin clearly and logically presented the idea that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution. Evolution occurs by means of natural selection.
Today this theory unifies all biology.
“In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.”
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most responsive to change.”
In 1839 he married his cousin, Emma Wedgewood; he was admitted to the Royal Society the same year. With symptoms of intestinal trouble and fatigue, he was dubbed as a hypochondriac.
In 1859 he published his famous book, the cream of his work, ‘The Origin of Species by Natural Selection and ‘The Descent of Man in 1871. In the struggle for life, only the ‘fittest’ beings would survive and the others would die out. “Humans are one species among many that had evolved from a more primitive one.
” Controversies raged over this thought amongst the elite, created furore amongst his colleague scientists and posed a challenge to orthodoxy amongst the churchmen.
Charles Darwin Geology
Scientist Charles Darwin formulated the theory of coral reef formation in the layers of earth. He studied the processes how volcanoes and earthquakes are caused.
The Power of Movement in Plants.
Charles Darwin Zoology : In the book The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, he made out the point that earthworms enrich and aerate the soil, thus making it more fertile — an ecological equation benefiting agriculture.
Charles Darwin Darwinism : Species evolve from more primitive species through the process of natural selection, which occurs spontaneously in nature.
Scientist Darwin was actually a ‘Dare win’ in the pursuit of the Theory of Evolution.
The French scientist Louis Pasteur said famously that “In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.”
‘The slowest goat sees the last sunset last’.
– Scientist Charles Darwin
- the diversity of the natural world, ecological variety and richness
- the existence of a large number of different kinds of animals and plants which make a balanced environment.