Charles Darwin's - The Theory of Evolution

Charles Darwin is a naturalist who is known the world over for his theory which is based on evolution and natural selection. This article talks about him and his great work which is better known as the theory of evolution.
| Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Charles Darwin has aptly said "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."

Born in Shrewsbury, England on 12th February 1809, Charles Robert Darwin was the second son of Susannah Wedgewood and Robert Waring Darwin. Like many other scientists, Charles Darwin also believed that life as we know it today, developed slowly over millions of years that too from a few common ancestors. To collect more information to prove his theory on human evolution, Charles Darwin took a trip on H.M.S Beagle on 27th December 1831. He did this since the Beagle was on a British science expedition that would travel all over the world. Darwin's theory of evolution was further strengthened when he found that the fossils collected in South America were similar to that of the modern species. In the Pacific Ocean which housed the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin took note that there were many variations among the same type of animals and plants that he had seen earlier in South America. Since the H.M.S Beagle was traveling the world over, Darwin was provided with an opportunity to further his samples and thus collect more evidence to prove the Darwin theory. It was in 1836 , 5 years later that Charles Darwin returned to London and thus began his research based on the specimens and notes that he had made during his trip. The theories that came forward based on his observations were many and linked to each other.

Theory of Evolution

Darwin's evolution theory says that life originated from non life. It further goes on to say that the complex creatures that form a part of this Earth developed from simple ancestors over a period of time. To put it in other words the evolution of man by random genetic mutation inside an organism's genetic code causes the preservation of beneficial mutations. This is done since beneficial mutations help survival. As time passes these mutations are passed on from one generation to another slowly resulting in the accumulation of mutations and the formation of an organism that is entirely different from what it was.

In simple words Darwin's evolution theory says these facts:

  • Every population has miniscule differences.
  • There are limited resources on Earth and that every organism competes with another to avail these resources.
  • Each organism that has found a place on this Earth produces an extra amount of offspring that can survive.
  • Genetic traits are passed on from one organism to their offspring.
  • The organisms that are able to survive and have offspring's are the ones that have the best traits for survival.

Charles Darwin's theory on the evolution of man was strongly opposed by some people since they saw it go against some religious convictions. Darwin did not bring up the issue of religion when he spoke about his work but there were people who used his evolution theory to talk about their own theories on society. Darwin published his theory which along with strong evidence for evolution in his book "On the Origin of Species". This was done in the year 1859. This naturalist was hardworking and reserved and cared about the feelings of friends and peers apart from family members. This great scientist met his end in 1882 and is buried in Westminster Abbey.