On the Origin of Species: Part 2: Chapters 5-14
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On the Origin of Species is Charles Darwin's groundbreaking 1859 work that first introduced the theory of natural selection and evolution. The book was the result of years of research, travel, and collaboration with other scientists. Predominant Christian thought in the mid-nineteenth century dictated that God was in charge of creating all species spontaneously and within a strict divine hierarchy. Suggesting, among other theories, that humans are descended from other animals, and that fossils can show evidence of millions of years of evolution brought Darwin equal amounts of fame, ridicule, and disapproval. Modern readers should look to Darwin's work as the spark that set off fiery scientific-religious debates that continue to this day.
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Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was a pioneering British scientist whose work helped bring about the field of biology as it exists today. Darwin enjoyed a comfortable childhood and became an apprentice doctor under his successful father, beginning medical school as a young man. However, he found himself more interested in scientific research being conducted on the natural world, and in the 1830s, Darwin signed onto the crew of the HMS Beagle, a research ship bound for South America. After five years at sea, observing fossils and existing species in South America, Darwin began to assemble notes and theories at home in England. Over the course of several years, he collaborated with other scientists and presented his findings to the British scientific community, culminating in his most famous work, On the Origin of Species. Introducing the concepts of evolution and natural selection in his book, Darwin became the center of a debate between scientific and religious thought on creation and natural order that continues today. In addition to On the Origin of Species, Darwin also published several key scientific works, among them his Journal and Remarks on the voyage of the Beagle, and The Descent of Man.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES.
CHAPTER 5. LAWS OF VARIATION.
Effects of external conditions.
Use and disuse, combined with natural selection; organs of flight and of vision.
Correlation of growth.
Compensation and economy of growth.
Multiple, rudimentary, and lowly ...