Charles Darwin theory of evolution

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In 1859, Charles Darwin published his book “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle of Life.” This book is comprised of over twenty years of research on human biology and its changes towards advancement. Darwin’s surmised in his book that all life slowly evolves, and life biologically mutates over time. What was once a dinosaur is now has evolved into a bird, fish, flower, and a tree. He theorized “survival of the fittest” which forced creatures to evolve to survive in their environment in advanced traits. Darwin’s Theory was met with a critical response. It was for the most part negative but was slow in accepted in the scientific world. The conflict is still an underlying issue with religion, and the theory of creationism.

Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England on February 12, 1809. Charles Darwin became bored with his studies, and he left after his second year because he lost interest in following his father's profession of becoming a physician upon witnessing several operations performed without anesthesia. His interest was in geology and natural history and was not at all interested in the studies of theology at Cambridge University. Darwin then began a five-year expedition to survey the world, and while he was on this journey, he became absorbed with biology and geology. He wrote about his observations in the coral reefs, and the volcanic islands, but his greatest biological observations were those relating to his theory of evolution.

During one part of the journey while he was in the Galapagos Islands where he observed the varying array of finches whose beaks were different in size. He observed that the birds were on affected by the physical conditions of the island, they adapted to these conditions on the island through different changes in their beaks, due to the birds' feeding habits. An example, the finches with the bigger, stronger beaks ate the large seeds and insects, while the birds with little or fine beaks, consumed much smaller seeds or insects. He noted that these birds had adapted to the environment. Thus, these species of birds were best suited to the environment, the finches prevailed and reproduced, leaving those who did not adapt, extinct. In Darwin’s book, “On the Origin of Species,” Darwin presented the idea that all species evolve from a more primitive species through the process called, “natural selection,” which works spontaneously in nature. Darwin’s Theory states that not all individuals of a species are exactly the same, but these individuals have variations and that some of these variations make them better adapted to their particular ecological conditions. Not only is this theory very difficult to dispute, it also makes perfect sense. In today’s society, Darwin’s Theory can be compared by using an example such as, two people want try out for a sport. Let’s say the sport is football, and they want to be the quarterback. The first person has the physical ability along with the background and experience that is required to be a quarterback, while the second does not, he just wants to be a quarterback. The person with the physical ability and experience has a better chance to adapt his skills to the team he is applying. During training camp, it is apparent the person who has adapted to his teammates environment is given the job, and the other remains unemployed.

There are some factors based on Darwin’s Theory. Overproduction in as every plant and animal has a tendency to produce in geometrical progression. If all the off-springs of an organism survive, then in a few decades the earth will be occupied by the individuals of a single species. Some example of overproduction is certain plants. Fern plants produce millions of spores, but if all of the germinated produced new plants ferns would cover the earth in just a few years. This is the same for primrose plants that produce up to 120,000 seeds per year. If these seeds germinated and products new plants, they could be everywhere in just a few generations. The struggle for existence has the greatest power in reproduction because it ensures a competition among the species off-springs. Food, shelter, and all other necessities of life referred to the struggle for existence which operated in three ways. Intraspecific struggle is a struggle between the individuals of the same species. That is most severe competition as the needs of all members are same. Interspecific struggle is the struggle to take place between the different species of living beings. This is very common because some species are considered food for other species. Environmental struggle is the struggle of living organisms against the physical environments like cyclone, earthquake, flood, drought, extreme heat and cold, and other phenomenon. The Mesozoic reptile dinosaur became extinct, as a result of this environmental struggle.

There are various differences of off-springs from their same species these are called variations. These are some of the most important characteristics of evolution because no two individuals were exactly the same. Some variation are inheritable while other variations are not inheritable. Darwin was not aware of the principles of heredity and hence could not explain adequately the causes of such variation. Further, the variation may be beneficial, harmful and/or neutral. The beneficial variations help the organisms to survive while the harmful variations hinder and can destroy the organisms for survival. Neutral variations have no role the evolution. Survival of the fittest proves that these organisms with useful or helpful variations have an upper hand in the struggle for existence, and they more than likely come out successful. They win the struggle, survive and propagate the variations to their next generation. Others with useless or harmful variations perish while variations and usually give rise to new characters, heredity passes them to the species next generation. “Natural selection is the process by which forms of life having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures, as predators, changes in climate, or competition for food or mates, will tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers than others of their kind, thus ensuring the perpetuation of those favorable traits in succeeding generations. (Dictionary.com)” According to Darwin, nature selects the fittest ones and enables them to survive. Nature then rejects the unfit ones the same way a farmer selects the seeds for the next year's crop. Organisms that are bet adapted to a given set of conditions are most likely to survive in the natural selection.

In the theory of natural selection, the organisms with the better suitable characteristics have a strong chance of reproduction and those with fewer advantageous characteristics have less chance. Therefore, species with the advantageous characteristics are increasingly accumulating generation after generation and the species with the disadvantaged characteristics gradually disappear. Because this theory can be proven, evolution was an assurance in the relationship between science and religion, as both sides realized neither was trying to undermine the other, and even in some cases joined in unification to promote humanities' advancement. The theory of evolution is significant to society not only because of its scientific achievements, but also the gap it bridged between the science and religion, and the lesson it taught that acceptance of new ideas does not have to mean the end of prior beliefs altogether.

Works Cited

Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/natural+selection. n.d. 26 July 2014.