The book was an immediate bestseller and quickly set off a firestorm of controversy. Yet the concept of species adaptation was not so radical at the time. Scientists had been debating whether animals evolved decades before Darwin put forth his theory. All existing creatures, he argued, descended from a small number of original or progenitor species.
Darwin compared the history of life to a great tree, its trunk representing these few common ancestors and an extensive system of branches and twigs symbolizing the great variety of life that has evolved from them. This evolution, Darwin wrote, is due to two factors. The first factor, Darwin argued, is that each individual animal is marked by subtle differences that distinguish it from its parents.
The second factor, Darwin argued, is that although variations are random, some of them convey distinct advantages — superior camouflage, a heartier constitution or greater speed, for example — that better equip a creature to survive in its environment. A greater chance of survival allows for more opportunity to breed and pass on advantageous traits to a greater number of offspring. Over time, an advantage spreads throughout a species; in turn, the species is more likely to endure and reproduce.
Thus, over the course of many generations, subtle changes occur and accumulate, eventually morphing into bigger changes and, possibly, even a new species. Yet evolution continued to be vigorously rejected by British and American churches because, religious leaders argued, the theory directly contradicted many of the core teachings of the Christian faith.
Darwinian thinking also appeared to contradict the notion, central to Christianity and many other faiths, that man had a special, God-given place in the natural order. Instead, proponents of evolution pointed to signs in human anatomy — remnants of a tailbone, for instance — showing common ancestry with other mammals.
There seems to be too much misery in the world. Regardless, it was around this time that the British scientific establishment gained the upper hand in the debate over evolution. And while the public disagreement between ecclesiastical and scientific authorities did not end in the s, religious thinkers became more wary of directly challenging evolution on scientific grounds.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, churches instead focused much of their energy on resisting the idea that man had evolved from lower animal orders and hence had no special place in creation or, for that matter, a soul. Indeed, while some churches, including the Catholic Church, eventually accepted evolution as a God-directed mechanism of biological development, none questioned the role of God as the sole creator of man.
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Charles Darwin and his Impact on Science Charles Darwin was a scientist, specifically a naturalist, in the mid to late ’s. He proposed many theories to the world of natural science that were later proven to be laws, which shows that he had a huge impact on the science world. His two most important advances [ ]. Charles Darwin research papers discuss the research of Charles Darwin and some of his works including, On the Origin of Species.
Research Paper Topics; Charles Darwin Critical Essays. Homework Help. Introduction Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, on 12 February His father was a wealthy. View Charles Darwin Research Papers on directlenders.ml for free.