Charles Darwin: His Life Story Of Dicovery Essay, Research Paper
Charles Darwin: His Life Story of Dicovery
“The Catholic church has absolutely no view on ‘Darwin’s Theory of Evolution’
or ‘Darwinism’ what is commonly believed by the magistarium is that one should
not necessarily take the Bible in a literal sense …”
-An excerpt from Robert Richard’s
The Meaning of Evolution.
Charles Darwin, a British naturalist has revolutionized biological and
genetic studies with his new idea of “Natural Selection.” His theory on
evolution, which held that a species had emerged from preexisting or “basic”
forms. His liberal ideas in Natural History had aroused several disagreements
among scientists and caused a division among them. In cognizance to Darwin?s
theory(ies) scientists today gives him the credit as being the first in all time
to explain some of the disagreements between geologists. Some of these where how
some rock layers were higher than others in some are but in other areas they
Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England on February 12, 1809. He
was the son of Robert Warren Darwin, a family doctor and of Susannah Wedgewood
Darwin daughter of a porcelain manufacturer. His grandfather, infact, was the
great English poet Erasmus Darwin. His early school training was at a small
school house in Shrewsbury. After which his father put him into Edinburgh
University in 1825 to 1827 for medical studies. Darwin showed no interest in
being a physician after witnessing several major operations without anesthesia.
He was then sent to be a pastor in the Church of England. He studied at Christ
College at Cambridge University in 1828.
He lost his interest in Holy order by the and became interested in
something never before, Natural History. In 1831 he graduated from Cambridge
with a B.A. He met many connections who were his allies in a “war” against the
scientific community?s belief of how evolution does occur.
Infact, one of his “connections” a professor and friend of his, Johns
Stevens Henslow endorsed Darwin for an unpaid position as naturalist on a
scientific five-year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle. The ship took off on December
27, 1831, to explore and evaluate the western coast of South America and several
islets of the coast of South America. Its Secondary mission was to set up
Navigational posts along the coast line. Darwin was to learn of the biological
and geological (of which he was not educated for!) Developments of the areas.
Darwin, an uneducated (in geology, that is) supposed “geologist” made
two critical discoveries of which later brought a contribution to his evolution
theory. These were that volcanoes and earth quakes changed the rock layers and
their order. This first discovery led to his second that is a key piece in
marine biology, that coral reefs were made by the clumping together of skeletons
of small animals and as more died and then clumped it made a large mass-the
coral reef. His two geological and biological discoveries led to his primary
conclusion that changes geologically and biological that things in nature will
change over long periods of time. He published three books concerning his
conclusions about these; Geological Observations on South America (1846), Coral
Reefs (1842), and his most famous geological piece Volcanic Islands (1844).
It was 1856, Darwin?s theories had been generally excepted among the
scientific community. Except one, Natural Selection, this theory he had not yet,
unleashed yet for it was far to complicated to be explained by tongue. He did
tell his friends this, who in turn set him to meet with another individual
Alfred Russel Wallace whom also had the same theory. Wallace had sent Darwin a
letter outlining what he had thought about Natural Selection. The two went
together after two years of research to London?s Linean Society in 1858 to
reveal what they thought. There was printed on November 24, 1859, it was under
the title “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the
Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.”
On the eastern seaboard South America, Darwin researched many topics of
which made a strong importance to the scientific community. When the Beagle
docked to the west coast and islands of the shore called the Galapagos he
studied and researched like never before. This is also the scene for his most
well known discovery – Darwin?s Finches.
He noticed that every one of the ecosystems of the islands were exactly
the same, the climate, geography, and the humidity; just alike. He noticed that
there were a wide variety of avians (birds) on the islands. These birds, he
noted, were similar in many aspects except their beaks. Some had long and slim
beak -used for the small seeds, others had short, large, powerful beaks used for
crushing the bigger seeds, he noticed also some with small, fine beaks -used
for obtaining small insects. He later concluded, from fossil evidence, that all
of these birds had a common ancestor who the “Evolved” into the different
species we see today.
The impact of Charles Darwin will always be remembered. Under the
influence of his spouse, and after keeping his new ideas to himself for years
after arriving back in England, he finally recorded in a scientific journal
what he found (explained above). His remarkable discoveries opened a new
frontier in the scientific realm. He will always be remembered as a true pioneer
in the theory of evolution.
Bowlby, John, Charles Darwin: A New Life; 1991. Bowler, PJ., Charles Darwin: The
Man and His Influence; 1990. Keynes, R.D.,ed., Charles Darwin?s Beagle Diary;
1988. Moorhead, Alan, Darwin and the Beagle; 1969. Richards, Robert, The Meaning
of Evolution; 1993.