Atlantis Online
August 19, 2019, 01:27:06 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS IN CUBA
A Report by Andrew Collins
http://www.andrewcollins.com/page/articles/atlantiscuba.htm
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

2009 Sees The 200th Anniversary Of The Birth Of Charles Darwin

Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: 2009 Sees The 200th Anniversary Of The Birth Of Charles Darwin  (Read 389 times)
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« on: January 12, 2009, 12:40:48 pm »

                                   














                                          The 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin






In July 2008, the world  celebrated the 150th anniversary of one of the greatest scientific milestones
in history. 

At a meeting of the Linnean Society of London on 1st July 1858 the paper from Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace outlining, for the first time, the theory of evolution by natural selection was read.   

 




February 2009 sees the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. 



At this time of special anniversaries, the Linnean Society of London is taking the opportunity to join people around the world in celebrating the life and legacy of this great man. 

The highlight of 2008 was the Conversazione and Commemorative Meeting on 1st July, the 150th anniversary of the reading of the Darwin-Wallace paper, followed by a two day scientific meeting: "The Driving Forces of Evolution: From Darwin to the modern age" (see below for more information).   


                 






Follow the links below for more information:



Darwin 200

A collaboration of organisations across the UK who are celebrating Darwin’s 200th birthday
Darwin, Wallace and the Linnean Society

More information on the joint paper by Darwin and Wallace: “On the Variation of Organic Beings in a state of Nature; on the Natural Means of Selection; on the Comparison of Domestic Races and true Species"

Darwin and Wallace in The Linnean

A selection of articles from the Linnean Society newsletter

Linnean Society Events

The programme of events for 2008, including Darwin celebrations

The Darwin-Wallace Medal

A commemorative medal, awarded on the 50th, 100th and now the 150th anniversary of the reading
of the Darwin-Wallace paper

The Wallace Collection at the Natural History Museum

A remarkable selection of digitised letters, notes, articles and even some of the insect specimens that Alfred Russel Wallace collected on his travels
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 12:53:55 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 12:50:14 pm »

Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 01:00:16 pm »





             

              Charles Darwin (aged 6) and Catherine
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 01:07:46 pm »









Born

12 February 1809(1809-02-12)
Mount House,
Shrewsbury,
Shropshire,
England



Died

19 April 1882 (aged 73)
Down House,
Downe,
Kent,
England
 


Residence

England



Nationality

British



Fields

Naturalist

 

Institutions

Royal Geographical Society



Alma mater

University of Edinburgh

University of Cambridge



Academic advisors

Adam Sedgwick

John Stevens Henslow

 

Known for

The Voyage of the Beagle

On The Origin of Species

Natural selection



Influences

Charles Lyell



Influenced

Thomas Henry Huxley

George John Romanes



Notable awards

Royal Medal (1853)

Wollaston Medal (1859)

Copley Medal (1864)



Religious stance

Church of England, though Unitarian family background,

Agnostic after 1851.

 
Signature
 








Notes

He was a grandson of Erasmus Darwin and
a grandson of Josiah Wedgwood and

married his cousin Emma Wedgwood.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 01:09:47 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 01:11:35 pm »




                                     

                                     Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882).

                                     At the age of 51, Charles Darwin had just published

                                     On the Origin of Species.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 01:12:57 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2009, 01:16:30 pm »








                                                          Charles Robert Darwin





 was an English naturalist, who realised and demonstrated that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors through the process he called natural selection. The fact that evolution occurs became accepted by the scientific community and the general public in his lifetime, while his theory of natural selection came to be widely seen as the primary explanation of the process of evolution in the 1930s, and now forms the basis of modern evolutionary theory. In modified form, Darwin’s scientific discovery remains the foundation of biology, as it provides a unifying logical explanation for the diversity of life.

At Edinburgh University Darwin neglected medical studies to investigate marine invertebrates, then the University of Cambridge encouraged a passion for natural science.  His five-year voyage on HMS BeagleTemplate:WP Ships HMS instances established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell’s uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author. Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin investigated the transmutation of species and conceived his theory of natural selection in 1838.  Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority.  He was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay which described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories.

His 1859 book On the Origin of Species established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature.  He examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. His research on plants was published in a series of books, and in his final book, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil.

In recognition of Darwin’s pre-eminence, he was one of only five 19th-century UK non-royal personages to be honoured by a state funeral, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, close to John Herschel and Isaac Newton.



RETRIEVED FROM

wikipedia.org
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 04:35:06 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009, 01:20:08 pm »




             








Charles Robert Darwin died on April 19, 1882 at around 4:00 in the afternoon at his home in Kent.

His funeral was held on April 26 on a Wednesday at Westminster Abbey.

It was attended by scientists, philosophers, naturalists, admirals, and dignitaries of all sorts.

Among the thousands of people attending his funeral were Joseph Parslow, his servant and lifetime friend, as well as Mrs. Evens, the household cook.







The pall bearers at Darwin's funeral were:



George Campbell - The 9th Duke of Argyll

William Cavendish - The 7th Duke of Devonshire

Edward Henry Stanley - The 15th Earl of Derby

James Russell Lowell - The American Ambassador to Britain

William Spottiswoode - Mathematician, physicist, the Queen's Printer, and friend of Darwin

Joseph Dalton **** - Darwin's close friend and champion of his Theory of Evolution

Thomas Henry Huxley - Darwin's close friend and champion of his Theory of Evolution

Alfred Russel Wallace - Darwin's friend and the co-founder of Natural Selection

Sir John Lubbock - The 1st Baron of Avebury, Darwin's next door neighbor and close friend
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 01:22:26 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 01:24:05 pm »




             









Contrary to popular belief, Charles Darwin was not buried next to Isaac Newton.

As you can see on the map above, however, he was buried very close to Newton. Darwin was actually buried next to his good friend Sir John Herschel.
 





The zoomed-in circle shows whose graves or memorial plaques are near Charles Darwin:



1 = Charles Darwin (grave)

2 = Sir John Herschel (grave)

3 = Howard Walter (memorial only)

4 = William Herschel (memorial only)

5 = James Maxwell (memorial only)

6 = Michael Faraday (memorial only)

7 = Sir Isaac Newton (grave)
 


http://www.aboutdarwin.com/darwin/burial.html
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 01:28:16 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 04:36:35 pm »




               








Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England on 12 February 1809 at his family home, the Mount.  He was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin, and Susannah Darwin (née Wedgwood). He was the grandson of Erasmus Darwin on his father’s side, and of Josiah Wedgwood on his mother’s side. Both families were largely Unitarian, though the Wedgwoods were adopting Anglicanism.

Robert Darwin, himself quietly a freethinker, had baby Charles baptised in the Anglican Church, but Charles and his siblings attended the Unitarian chapel with their mother. The eight year old Charles already had a taste for natural history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. That July, his mother died. From September 1818, he joined his older brother Erasmus attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School as a boarder.

Darwin spent the summer of 1825 as an apprentice doctor, helping his father treat the poor of Shropshire, before going with Erasmus to the University of Edinburgh. He found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so neglected his medical studies. He learned taxidermy from John Edmonstone, a freed black slave who had accompanied Charles Waterton in the South American rainforest, and often sat with this "very pleasant and intelligent man".

In Darwin’s second year he joined the Plinian Society, a student natural history group whose debates strayed into radical materialism. He assisted Robert Edmund Grant’s investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of marine invertebrates in the Firth of Forth, and in March 1827 presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in oyster shells were the eggs of a skate leech. One day, Grant praised Lamarck’s evolutionary ideas. Darwin was astonished, but had recently read the similar ideas of his grandfather Erasmus and remained indifferent.  Darwin was rather bored by Robert Jameson’s natural history course which covered geology including the debate between Neptunism and Plutonism. He learnt classification of plants, and assisted with work on the collections of the University Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe at the time.

This neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ’s College, Cambridge, for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican parson. 

Darwin began there in January 1828, but preferred riding and shooting to studying.  His cousin Fox introduced him to the popular craze for beetle collecting which he pursued zealously, getting some of his finds published in Stevens' Illustrations of British entomology. He became a close friend and follower of botany professor John Stevens Henslow and met other leading naturalists who saw scientific work as religious natural theology, becoming known to these dons as “the man who walks with Henslow”.

When exams drew near, Darwin focused on his studies and was delighted by the language and logic of William Paley's Evidences of Christianity.  In his final examination in January 1831 Darwin did well, coming tenth out of a pass list of 178.

Darwin had to stay at Cambridge until June. He studied Paley's Natural Theology which made an argument for divine design in nature, explaining adaptation as God acting through laws of nature.  He read John Herschel's new book which described the highest aim of natural philosophy as understanding such laws through inductive reasoning based on observation, and Alexander von Humboldt’s Personal Narrative of scientific travels. Inspired with "a burning zeal" to contribute, Darwin planned to visit Tenerife with some classmates after graduation to study natural history in the tropics.

In preparation, he joined Adam Sedgwick's geology course then went with him in the summer mapping strata in Wales. After a fortnight with student friends at Barmouth, he returned home to find a letter from Henslow proposing Darwin as a suitable (if unfinished) gentleman naturalist for a self-funded place with captain Robert FitzRoy, more as a companion than a mere collector, on HMS BeagleTemplate:WP Ships HMS instances which was to leave in four weeks on an expedition to chart the coastline of South America.

His father objected to the planned two-year voyage, regarding it as a waste of time, but was persuaded by his brother-in-law, Josiah Wedgwood, to agree to his son’s participation.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 04:42:34 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 04:44:35 pm »










                                                          Journey of the Beagle






For more details on this topic, see Second voyage of HMS Beagle.
 
The voyage lasted almost five years and, as FitzRoy had intended, Darwin spent most of that time on land investigating geology and making natural history collections, while the Beagle surveyed and charted coasts. 
He kept careful notes of his observations and theoretical speculations, and at intervals during the voyage his specimens were sent to Cambridge together with letters including a copy of his journal for his family.  He had some expertise in geology, beetle collecting and dissecting marine invertebrates, but in all other areas was a novice and ably collected specimens for expert appraisal.  Despite repeatedly suffering badly from seasickness while at sea, most of his zoology notes are about marine invertebrates, starting with plankton collected in a
calm spell.

On their first stop ashore at St Jago, Darwin found that a white band high in the volcanic rock cliffs included seashells. FitzRoy had given him the first volume of Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology which set out uniformitarian concepts of land slowly rising or falling over immense periods, and Darwin saw things Lyell's way, theorising and thinking of writing a book on geology.  In Brazil, Darwin was delighted by the tropical forest but detested the sight of slavery.

At Punta Alta in Patagonia he made a major find of fossils of huge extinct mammals in cliffs beside modern seashells, indicating recent extinction with no signs of change in climate or catastrophe. He identified the little known Megatherium, with bony armour which at first seemed to him like a giant version of the armour on local armadillos. The finds brought great interest when they reached England.  On rides with gauchos into the interior to explore geology and collect more fossils he gained social, political and anthropological insights into both native and colonial people at a time of revolution, and learnt that two types of rhea had separate but overlapping territories.  Further south he saw stepped plains of shingle and seashells as raised beaches showing a series of elevations. He read Lyell’s second volume and accepted its view of “centres of creation” of species, but his discoveries and theorising challenged Lyell's ideas of smooth continuity and of extinction of species.

 
As HMS Beagle surveyed the coasts of South America, Darwin theorised about geology and extinction of giant mammals. Three Fuegians on board, who had been seized during the first Beagle voyage and had spent a year in England, were taken back to Tierra del Fuego as missionaries. Darwin found them friendly and civilised, yet their relatives seemed “miserable, degraded savages”, as different as wild from domesticated animals.  To Darwin the difference showed cultural advances, not racial inferiority. Unlike his scientist friends, he now thought there was no unbridgeable gap between humans and animals.  A year on, the mission had been abandoned. The Fuegian they'd named Jemmy Button lived like the other natives, had a wife, and had no wish to return to England.

Darwin experienced an earthquake in Chile and saw signs that the land had just been raised, including mussel-beds stranded above high tide. High in the Andes he saw seashells, and several fossil trees that had grown on
a sand beach. He theorised that as the land rose, oceanic islands sank, and coral reefs round them grew to
form atolls.

On the geologically new Galápagos Islands Darwin looked for evidence attaching wildlife to an older "centre of creation", and found mockingbirds allied to those in Chile but differing from island to island. He heard that tortoise shells slightly varied in shape, showing which island they came from.  In Australia, the marsupial rat-kangaroo and the platypus seemed so unusual that Darwin thought it was almost as though two distinct Creators had been at work.  He found the Aborigines "good-humoured & pleasant", and noted their depletion by European settlement.

The Beagle investigated how the atolls of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands had formed, and the survey supported Darwin's theorising.  FitzRoy began writing the official Narrative of the Beagle voyages, and after reading Darwin’s diary he proposed incorporating it into the account.  Darwin's Journal was eventually rewritten as a separate third volume, on natural history.

In Cape Town Darwin and FitzRoy met John Herschel, who had recently written to Lyell praising his uniformitarianism as opening bold speculation on “that mystery of mysteries, the replacement of extinct species by others” as “a natural in contradistinction to a miraculous process”.  When organising his notes as the ship sailed home, Darwin wrote that if his growing suspicions about the mockingbirds, the tortoises and the Falkland Island Fox were correct, “such facts undermine the stability of Species”, then cautiously added “would” before “undermine”.  He later wrote that such facts “seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species”.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 04:54:27 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 04:58:59 pm »

« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 05:03:08 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 05:02:00 pm »




             








                                                   Inception of Darwin’s evolutionary theory






For more details on this topic, see Inception of Darwin's theory.
 
While still a young man, Charles Darwin joined the scientific eliteWhen the Beagle returned on 2 October 1836, Darwin was already a celebrity in scientific circles as in December 1835 Henslow had fostered his former pupil’s reputation by giving selected naturalists a pamphlet of Darwin’s geological letters. Darwin visited his home in Shrewsbury and saw relatives, then hurried to Cambridge to see Henslow, who advised on finding naturalists available to catalogue the collections and agreed to take on the botanical specimens. Darwin’s father organised investments, enabling his son to be a self-funded gentleman scientist, and an excited Darwin went round the London institutions being fêted and seeking experts to describe the collections. Zoologists had a huge backlog of work, and there was a danger of specimens just being left in storage.

Charles Lyell eagerly met Darwin for the first time on 29 October and soon introduced him to the up-and-coming anatomist Richard Owen, who had the facilities of the Royal College of Surgeons to work on the fossil bones collected by Darwin. Owen’s surprising results included gigantic extinct sloths, a near complete skeleton of the unknown Scelidotherium and a hippopotamus-sized rodent-like skull named Toxodon resembling a giant capybara. The armour fragments were from the Glyptodon, a huge armadillo as Darwin had initially thought.  These extinct creatures were closely related to living species in South America.

In mid-December Darwin took lodgings in Cambridge, to organise work on his collections and rewrite his Journal.  He wrote his first paper, showing that the South American landmass was slowly rising, and with Lyell’s enthusiastic backing read it to the Geological Society of London on 4 January 1837. On the same day, he presented his mammal and bird specimens to the Zoological Society. The ornithologist John Gould soon announced that the Galapagos birds that Darwin had thought a mixture of blackbirds, “gros-beaks” and finches, were, in fact, twelve separate species of finches.

On 17 February Darwin was elected to the Council of the Geographical Society and Lyell's presidential address presented Owen’s findings on Darwin’s fossils, stressing geographical continuity of species as supporting his uniformitarian ideas.

Early in March Darwin moved to London to be near this work, joining Lyell's social circle of scientists
and savants such as Charles Babbage, who described God as a programmer of laws. John Herschel’s letter on the "mystery of mysteries" of new species was widely discussed, with explanations sought
in natural laws, not ad hoc miracles. Darwin stayed with his freethinking brother Erasmus, part of this Whig circle and close friend of writer Harriet Martineau who promoted Malthusianism underlying the controversial Whig Poor Law reforms to stop welfare from causing overpopulation and more poverty.
As a Unitarian she welcomed the radical implications of transmutation of species, promoted by Grant
and some medical men but anathema to Anglicans defending social order.

 
In mid-July 1837 Darwin started his “B” notebook on Transmutation of Species, and on page 36 wrote
“I think” above the first evolutionary tree.In their first meeting to discuss his detailed findings, Gould told Darwin that the Galápagos mockingbirds from different islands were separate species, not just varieties, and the finch group included the “wrens”. Darwin had not labelled the finches by island, but from the notes of others on the Beagle, including FitzRoy, he allocated species to islands. The two rheas were also distinct species, and on 14 March Darwin announced how their distribution changed going southwards.

By mid-March, Darwin was speculating in his Red Notebook on the possibility that "one species does change into another" to explain the geographical distribution of living species such as the rheas, and extinct ones such as Macrauchenia like a giant guanaco. His thoughts on lifespan, asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction developed in his “B” notebook around mid-July on to variation in offspring "to adapt & alter the race to changing world" explaining the Galápagos tortoises, mockingbirds and rheas. He sketched branching descent, then a genealogical branching of a single evolutionary tree, in which
"It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another", discarding Lamarck's independent lineages progressing to higher forms.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 05:05:11 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 05:10:00 pm »




             








While developing this intensive study of transmutation, Darwin became mired in more work. Still rewriting his Journal, he took on editing and publishing the expert reports on his collections, and with Henslow’s help obtained
a Treasury grant of £1,000 to sponsor this multi-volume Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle. He agreed to unrealistic dates for this and for a book on South American Geology supporting Lyell’s ideas. Darwin finished writing his Journal around 20 June 1837 just as Queen Victoria came to the throne, but then had its proofs to correct.

Darwin’s health suffered from the pressure.

On 20 September he had “an uncomfortable palpitation of the heart", so his doctors urged him to "knock off all work" and live in the country for a few weeks. After visiting Shrewsbury he joined his Wedgwood relatives at Maer Hall, but found them too eager for tales of his travels to give him much rest. His charming, intelligent, and cultured cousin Emma Wedgwood, nine months older than Darwin, was nursing his invalid aunt. His uncle Jos pointed out an area of ground where cinders had disappeared under loam and suggested that this might have been the work of earthworms, inspiring "a new & important theory" on their role in soil formation which Darwin presented at the Geological Society on 1 November.

William Whewell pushed Darwin to take on the duties of Secretary of the Geological Society. After initially declining the work, he accepted the post in March 1838.[60] Despite the grind of writing and editing the Beagle reports, Darwin made remarkable progress on transmutation, taking every opportunity to question expert naturalists and, unconventionally, people with practical experience such as farmers and pigeon fanciers.  Over time his research drew on information from his relatives and children, the family butler, neighbours, colonists and former shipmates.[62] He included mankind in his speculations from the outset, and on seeing an orangutan in the zoo on 28 March 1838 noted its child-like behaviour.

The strain told, and by June he was being laid up for days on end with stomach problems, headaches and heart symptoms. For the rest of his life, he was repeatedly incapacitated with episodes of stomach pains, vomiting, severe boils, palpitations, trembling and other symptoms, particularly during times of stress such as attending meetings or making social visits. The cause of Darwin’s illness remained unknown, and attempts at treatment had little success.

On 23 June he took a break and went “geologising” in Scotland. He visited Glen Roy in glorious weather to see the parallel “roads” cut into the hillsides at three heights. He later published his view that these were marine raised beaches, but then had to accept that they were shorelines of a proglacial lake.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 05:14:16 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2009, 05:15:41 pm »




               

               EMMA WEDGWOOD DARWIN










Fully recuperated, he returned to Shrewsbury in July.

Used to jotting down daily notes on animal breeding, he scrawled rambling thoughts about career and prospects on two scraps of paper, one with columns headed “Marry” and “Not Marry”. Advantages included “constant companion and a friend in old age ... better than a dog anyhow”, against points such as “less money for books” and “terrible loss of time.”

Having decided in favour, he discussed it with his father, then went to visit Emma on 29 July.

He did not get around to proposing but, against his father’s advice, he mentioned his ideas on transmutation.



Continuing his research in London, Darwin’s wide reading now included the sixth edition of Malthus’s An Essay on the Principle of Population

"In October 1838, that is, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic enquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. Here, then, I had at last got a theory by which to work..."


Malthus asserted that unless human population is kept in check, it increases in a geometrical progression and soon exceeds food supply in what is known as a Malthusian catastrophe.  Darwin was well prepared to see at once that this also applied to de Candolle’s “warring of the species” of plants and the struggle for existence among wildlife, explaining how numbers of a species kept roughly stable. As species always breed beyond available resources, favourable variations would make organisms better at surviving and passing the variations on to their offspring, while unfavourable variations would be lost. This would result in the formation of new species.  On 28 September 1838 he noted this insight, describing it as a kind of wedging, forcing adapted structures into gaps in the economy of nature as weaker structures were thrust out. 

Over the following months he compared farmers picking the best breeding stock to a Malthusian Nature selecting from variants thrown up by “chance” so that “every part of [every] newly acquired structure is fully practised and perfected”, and thought this analogy “the most beautiful part of my theory”.

 
Darwin chose to marry his cousin, Emma Wedgwood.On 11 November, he returned to Maer and proposed to Emma, once more telling her his ideas. She accepted, then in exchanges of loving letters she showed how she valued his openness in sharing their differences, also expressing her strong Unitarian beliefs and concerns that his honest doubts might separate them in the afterlife.  While he was house-hunting in London, bouts of illness continued and Emma wrote urging him to get some rest, almost prophetically remarking “So don’t be ill any more my dear Charley till I can be with you to nurse you.” He found what they called “Macaw Cottage” (because of its gaudy interiors) in Gower Street, then moved his “museum” in over Christmas. On 24 January 1839 Darwin was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

On 29 January Darwin and Emma Wedgwood were married at Maer in an Anglican ceremony arranged to suit the Unitarians, then immediately caught the train to London and their new home.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 05:21:45 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2009, 05:22:55 pm »



DARWIN'S "THINKING PATH"
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 05:25:07 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum | Buy traffic for your forum/website
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy