The Orgin Of The Species By Charles

Darwin (1809-1882) Essay, Research Paper

Habitual instincts are inherited within

each species. Ants and bees build their nests and hives with no previous

experience. Birds migrate and build homes according to their unique inner

senses. But instincts too may change over time as “consequences of one

general law leading to the advancement of all organic beings … multiply,

vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”

Other chapters deal with related topics:

hybridism; living species compared to those of ancient geological periods;

extinction; geographical distribution of organisms; relationships between

species; and the classification of organisms. Objections to the general

theory of evolution are presented in both Darwin’s conclusion and glossary

of terms.

Darwin’s observations led him to believe

that species did adapt to their changing surroundings. Furthermore, he

was led to defend as a logical, observable – and even religious – corollary

of this conclusion, a theory advancing the probability of common descent

for all living creatures.

Authors of the highest eminence seem to

be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently

created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed

on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past

and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary

causes, like those determining the birth and death of an individual. When

I view all beings not as special creations, but as lineal descendants of

some few beings which have lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian

system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.

The Origin of Species represents Darwin’s

many years of personal and intellectual struggle. It is candidly argued

and presented in a flowing, orderly manner, then left for each reader to

weigh the evidence. As a text on natural history, its ideas are refreshingly

comprehensible and insightful.


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