Charles Darwin, believed in evolution in a time when it was a radical and ludicrous in the view of the larger population. But Charles Darwin’s theory exists by the support of substantial evidence that he gathered over the years. While the idea of evolution was not a completely new concept, Charles Darwin was pressured by his peers to deliver a book with a unique take on the idea. It explained Charles Darwin’s belief of natural selection and it sent shock waves through the entire world. Over one hundred years later, the theory is still used to explain nature in modern science.
Many of Charles Darwin’s colleagues believed that it was necessary for him to publish a complete book about his thoughts on evolution and natural selection. He had published smaller essays in the past, including an abstract about natural selection, but his peers noticed the similarities of Charles Darwin’s thoughts and those of others in the field. Charles Darwin, with the encouragement of his peers, struggled to write a large abstract pertaining to evolution and natural selection. What eventually came out of this was On the Origin of Species. Although it was a popular book that detailed ideas behind natural selection, it avoided the then controversial term “evolution”.
1. Overview of the ideas presented in the book:
In a given population, stronger and faster animals, whom are better fit to survive will be naturally selected and live on their replication of its species. Over millions of years to come, the descendants of that species will continue to develop and grow stronger and will continue to adapt to its environment over time.
2. The term “Natural Selection” as defined by Charles Darwin:
Different animals within a certain species may have different traits. Animals may have different fur color, longer necks, bigger tails, shorter horn sizes, etc. Based on the conditions of their environment, if an animal is better suited to survive in that environment, it will grow to reproduce and pass on those superior genes to its descendants. For example, a giraffe has a long neck because of the benefits that come along with having it. Giraffes millions of years ago that had short necks could not reach vegetation to eat and flourish. The ones with the big necks did survive and only giraffes with long necks exist today.
3. The species as a whole:
In the same case as individual animals, entire species may be “naturally selected” to survive or perish over millions of years. Animal species that are extinct today could not adapt to their environment and their numbers grew weaker and weaker because they were not fit to be selected.
Although the term “evolution” is never used in the book, as it was a highly controversial word with lots of negative views attached to it, Charles Darwin does use many ideas that it presents to make a case. Evolution is the concept of natural selection, but looked at in the perspective of millions of years. It expresses what changes a species has gone through over the years; which needless traits of the species were phased out and which traits survived and grew stronger. Eventually, the theory of evolution proves that new species are sometimes created from others.