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Darwin's theory of natural selection issued a profound challenge to orthodox...
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Автор Charles Darwin
страници 416
Език английски
година 1997
Издателство WORDSWORTH
ID на книга 20276780
ISBN 9781853267802
Категории Философия

Darwin's theory of natural selection issued a profound challenge to orthodox thought and belief: no being or species has been specially created; all are locked into a pitiless struggle for existence, with extinction looming for those not fit enough for the task. This text reveals the almost unthinkably complex mutual interdependencies between animal and plant life, climate and physical environment, and by implication, the human world. AUTHOR: Charles Robert Darwin FRS (12 February 1809 19 April 1882) was an English Naturalist who realized and presented compelling evidence 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 much of 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, Darwins scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, providing 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 years on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyells 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 Russell Wallace sent him an essay which described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both 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 Darwins 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.
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