Darwin S Theory Of Natural Selection Issued A Profound Challenge To Orthodox Thought And Belief No Being Or Species Has Been Specifically Created All Are Locked Into A Pitiless Struggle For Existence, With Extinction Looming For Those Not Fitted For The Task Yet The Origin Of SpeciesIs Also A Humane And Inspirational Vision Of Ecological Interrelatedness, Revealing The Complex Mutual Interdependencies Between Animal And Plant Life, Climate And Physical Environment, And By Implication Within The Human World Written For The General Reader, In A Style Which Combines The Rigour Of Science With The Subtlety Of Literature, The Origin Of Species Remains One Of The Founding Documents Of The Modern Age 98% 2%. Charles Darwin changed the world when he wrote this book.I mean if you think about it logically, no other book has had such a powerful impact on the way humanity views the earth yes, we have countless religious doctrine, but never before had there been a book that so drastically alternated our perceptions of the mechanisms that are behind our existence I m not talking about on a spiritual level, a level of ideas that cannot be scientifically proven or unproven, but on an actual physical level These ideas weren t accepted overnight, few things are, but over time they began to beandaccepted Even today we still refer to Darwin s ideas as the theory of Evolution despite the fact that it is now empirically proven as to how we got where we are It is, generally speaking, a culturally accepted idea The fact that we still refer to something most accept to be fact as a theory is a phenomenon It s unusual Contrary to popular belief, Darwin did not seek to debunk any religious beliefs In fact, the research he carried out put him in constant confusion about his own Christianity For a time he believed religion and science could work together he believed that science helped to explain some of the ideas in creation stories, but eventually he stopped believing He lost his faith and embraced the logical mind of the scientist again, he didn t seek to counter religion It was just a simple case that over time he could no longer personally and logically believe in it it could not be proved rationally As a student of literature, as a lover of stories, history, nature and narrative, I find myself drawn to ideas of religion and science For anybody to call religion groundless I say this from my own agnostically driven perspective is to divulge a massive lack of judgment Without wanting to offend any atheists, or anybody of faith, we will never know either way which is ultimately right But, I do most ardently think that we can only begin to understand what it is to be human by reading and exploring the ideas of both religion and science They have both been perpetuated by man, so I think we owe it to ourselves to try and understand why Some of you may have noticed how eclectic my reading tastes have become I pretty much read anything I have many reading lists both shortlists and longlists but four works I simply need to read in my lifetime are The Qur an I have a beautiful edition I picked up from a used book store a late 19th Century edition , The King James Bible I ve recently finished genesis , Relativity The Special and the General Theory by Einstein and A Brief History of Time by Hawkins The point is, I think in today s world we need to understand both religion and science Both parts form a larger part of our society Well, anyway, that was a rather large digression I read the origin of species back in 2013 for the first time My second reading wasof a gloss over of certain key ideas, and a revisit of passages that I flagged down before The ideas in the book are obviously ground breaking, though not the first historical example of them But, for me, this book isof a slog than leisure driven reading The writing isn t great and it is terribly repetitive at times, but I suppose that s what comes with observing the natural world in such scientific detail From the findings here Darwin would eventually go on to lay down his full arguments inThe Decent of Man,a read that soundscompelling and all encompassing So it s another one to add to my list Dear Carol,Thank you for your mail, and of course I remember meeting you on the flight last month It was a very interesting discussion and I m still thinking about it The semester has now started here at Creationist U and I am working hard, but I found time to read the book you recommended And I m glad I did, because it was really a lot better than I thought it would be.I guess I was expecting Darwin to be like Richard Dawkins, but he was respectful of religious ideas And it was great that he liked Paley s Natural Theology so much he says he almost knew it by heart We read Paley last year in History of Creation Science, and I also thought it was a terrific book So I could see Darwin was an open minded person who was prepared to look at both sides of the question Richard Dawkins could learn a lot from that The way he sets up his argument is smart He starts off talking about how stockbreeders can improve their breed well, I m a country boy, and I could see he knew his stuff This is someone who s spent time down at the farm and understands how country people feel about livestock And I liked that he d done all that work raising pigeons Not the kind of scientist who just hangs out at the lab all day After that, he introduces his Big Idea about the survival of the fittest and he almost made evolution sound sensible He s a good writer And then he was honest when he explained all the problems with the theory He really got me I was wondering if he was going to mention any of that stuff, and a page later he came out and said just what I was thinking Nice work, Mr Darwin But I did wonder what he was doing, cutting out the ground from under his own feet He said he could explain things like the eye and how bees could evolve to make honeycombs, but even if he was real good at making his case, I wasn t buying any.So by the halfway mark, I figured he was done, but like ol Dubya used to say, I misunderestimated him he d saved all his best stuff for last He had some good shots I got to admit, he made me think Why does God put the species that look alike in the same place Like he says, it is weird how you have a mountain range, and there s one kind of animals and plants on one side, and a different kind on the other side God s ways are inscrutable to us, but why does He care about those mountains And the islands, they were even worse He says if you look at the species on a lot of islands, you don t have any mammals there, except you do have bats Why I could see where he was going with this one the bats could blow in off the mainland and evolve, but other mammals couldn t do that I admit it, I don t have an answer, except maybe God s testing our faith again But I can see not everyone will like that I m still wondering about those bats Okay Mr Darwin, I said it already but I ll say it again, you were a smart guy So how s life at MIT And I hope you read the book I recommended to you A Canticle for Leibowitz will show you that faith and science havein common than you might think Take care,Bob One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest dieCharles Darwin, The Origin of Species It is amazing to think that this mild, scientific book published a little less than 155 years ago caused and is still causing such a complete storm I m surprised at how adapted we have become or at least the segment of those people on the planet who don t reject Darwin s theory of natural selection as counter to their own idea of the way God makes and shakes to Darwin s revolutionary idea s Like with many of the pantheon of scientific geniuses Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, etc there was a bit of random chance involved The ground was ready for Darwin s adapted seed There were enough scholars and scientists and rationalists around to carry his idea s hither and his theory thither So while this book, and Darwin himself, were both stellar examples of scientific restraint, the force and momentum of OftS can t be under appreciated It was just the right time and right place for a scientific revolution Darwin and his little book walked by a labour of scientific mouldywarps who happened to find themselves on the chalk cliffs of science, pushed those sterile hybrids off, and never looked back Evolve bitches Edits for NR because I love him that much This This preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection Variations neither useful not injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in the species called polymorphic We shall best understand the probable course of natural selection by taking the case of a country undergoing some physical change, for instance, of climate The proportional numbers of its inhabitants would almost immediately undergo a change, and some species might become extinct We may conclude, from what we have seen of the intimate and complex manner in which the inhabitants of each country are bound together, that any change in the numerical proportions of some of the inhabitants, independently of the change of climate itself, would most seriously affect many of the others If the country were open on its borders, new forms would certainly immigrate, and this also would seriously disturb the relations of some of the former inhabitants Let it be remembered how powerful the influence of a single introduced tree or mammal has been shown to be But in the case of an island, or of a country partly surrounded by barriers, into which new and better adapted forms could not freely enter, we should then have places in the economy of nature which would assuredly be better filled up, if some of the original inhabitants were in some manner modified for, had the area been open immigration, these same places would have been seized on by intruders In such case, ever slight modification, which in the course of ages chanced to arise, and which in any way favoured the individuals of any of the species, by better adapting them to their altered conditions, would tend to be preserved and natural selection would thus have free scope for the work of improvement We have reason to believe, as stated in the first chapter, that a change in the conditions of life, by specially acting on the reproductive systems, cause or increases variability and in the foregoing case the conditions of life are supposed to have undergone a changes, and this would manifestly be favourable to natural selection, by giving a better chance of profitable variations occurring and unless profitable variations do occur, natural selection can do nothing I DIDN T WRITE THIS DARWIN DID IN THIS BOOK Or This. Ah, you can t really review a book like this It s almost complete transcended its role as a seminal scientific tome and become a legitimate historic artefact You can t review a historic artefact.This is a fantastic read, even viewed in a completely different way to how it would have been read at the time It really is amazing how much evolutionary biology Darwin was able to formulate almost a century before Watson and Crick s discovery of DNA It boggles the mind what Darwin could have been capable of if he d had access to the last 150 years of genetic research. If, however, a caterpillar were taken out of a hammock made up, for instance, to the third stage, and were put into one finished up to the sixth stage, so that much of its work was already done for it, far from feeling the benefit of this, it was much embarrassed, and, in order to complete its hammock, seemed forced to start from the third stage On the Origin of Species is one of the most important books ever written Although a lot of people scientists, naturalists and the like were coming to the same kind of conclusions, Darwin was one of the first who wrote it all down in a profound and concise manner and used his influence and friends to make it a well known theory the theory of evolution.There is only one thing you need to know before you read this, and that is that Charles Darwin was a very religious man This is a five star worthy book, but my ignorance of this fact caused me to be so infuriated by the end that I couldn t bring myself to rate it higher It is written exquisitely if you ve read anything particularly science related in this day and age you will notice how science related it is The words, the terms, they re all very much science related and it can be so difficult to really understand and comprehend what you re reading because it s almost in another language.This is written very much in the way any Victorian novel would have been written There is a smattering of Latin terms, but for the most part it is easy to understand if you get in the right frame of mind as you would a Classic It can be heavy going, however, as the paragraphs are long and often repetitive, but his thoughts on pigeons are the most endearing things I ve come across this is Victorian science and it s all about pigeons.To go back to why I only rated it three stars throughout at no point did Darwin mention God or the creation of the world, except perhaps in very subtle reference and the theory of evolution and instinct reigns supreme, until the very end when he concludes that God did not create the world 1859 years, but millions of years ago, instead, and that all current flora and fauna are descended from the original God created animals I should have expected something like this but I did not and that annoyed methan it should have Of course, it makes the entire thing that muchimpressive, though the horrific experience Darwin must have gone through as he tried to make a religious belief co live with a scientific frame of mind would have been supremely agonising It s wholly my fault for this ignorance, but I still can t bring myself to heighten it.It s still one of the most important books ever written and its legacy will never become diminished, but it is often repetitive and sometimes out dated with quite a lengthy part about geology which is fairly unremarkable, but his amusing and enjoyable experiments with flowers and his views on pigeons are just a delight.Blog Instagram Twitter Pinterest Shop Etsy On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life On Natural selection Natural selection, Charles Darwin Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype It is a key mechanism of evolution, the change in the heritable traits characteristic of a population over generations Charles Darwin popularized the term Natural selection , contrasting it with artificial selection, which is intentional, whereas natural selection is not 1972 1351 536 19 1359 618 1363 1380 9644072677 618 1389 9786005541877 1394 77 9786007339534 1859 My book group selected this book for discussion probably because of the historic impact it has had on the field of science However, I found it to be very worthy of respect from a literary viewpoint Charles Darwin s writing comes across as a methodical thinker and patient explainer to many recalcitrant readers who are determined not to believe a word he says He had me convinced after only a couple dozen pages, but he kept doing what seemed to me to be piling on observation after observation, explanation after explanation, until after a while I felt like crying out, Enough already, I believe Frankly, I was impressed by the breadth of knowledge about the natural world already accumulated by the middle of the 19th century as demonstrated by this book There are obvious things poor old Darwin didn t know about, one of them being the laws of genealogy discovered by Gregor Johann Mendel Mendel was a contemporary of Darwin, and I have heard that a published copy of Mendel s study was on Darwin s book shelves but it hadn t been opened or read Of course Darwin wasn t the only person who ignored Mendel Mendel s work wasn t appreciated for its contribution to understanding of inherited traits until after his death Meanwhile Darwin is writing this book giving many observations regarding the variability of crossings of various plants and animals, but doesn t understand why.Also, Darwin was plagued with physicists of the time who calculated that earth couldn t be as old as needed for Darwin s theory of natural selection to accomplish all the required changes The physicists were basing their calculations of the rate cooling of the core of the earth Of course they were wrong what they didn t know about was radioactive decay which gives off heat they weren t making allowances for It turns out the earth is even older than Darwin would have guessed.And of course the really big advance of science that Darwin didn t know about was the DNA double helix Darwin insists that life forms need to be classed according to genealogy, and he speculates that in the future scientists will be able to classify life formsaccurately asknowledge is obtained about them Darwin would be amazed to know how precisely genealogy can be determined these days For example, it can be determined that humans areclosely related to fungi than to photosynthetic plants.I listened to the audio version of this book This is an example of a book that is much easier to listen to than to read because of all the big Latin words used in describing species Having the words read aloud made them fit into the context of the sentence much better than if I were trying to read and probably skip over those unfamiliar words There were six editions of Origin of Species in Darwin s life time It could be argued that the 1859 edition is the second best version of this book with the 1860 British edition being slightly better in that it contains some insignificant, but non substantive, corrections The editions of 1861, 1866, 1869, and 1872 are all inferior In them Darwin made changes and expansions in an effort to meet the objections that arose during those times The modifications expanded the book and clouded the argument Since most of the objections that were raised would be regarded as silly today, Darwin s arguments against them are of interest for social history, but not for Darwin s theory I think that most published copies today are based on the 1872 edition If you have an earlier edition you will find that it is shorter and, as indicated above, is probably better.The following quotation is from the sixth edition and not in the earlier editions It is from a section of the book on instincts and follows a couple paragraphs discussing the habit of some birds to lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species Mr Darwin has just sighted some of the observations of the nesting habits of a type of cowbird Molothrus Bonariensis written by a naturalist colleague Mr Hudson is a strong disbeliever in evolution, but he appears to have been much struck by the imperfect instincts of the Molothrus Bonariensis that he quotes my words and asks, must we consider these habits not as an especially endowed or created instincts but as small consequences of one general law, namely transitions I take from the above that Darwin was enjoying the irony of a naturalist from the creationist camp finding it difficult to attribute to God the endowment of the slothful nest making habits to the cowbird Since the behavior is repugnant it must have been caused by that old nasty evolution stuff i.e the work of the devil.
Francis Darwin, of astronomer
- On the origin of species
- Charles Darwin
- 21 January 2019 Charles Darwin