Darwin and Natural Selection

Nealey Wallis

About Natural Selection

Darwin was a scientist in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century that initiated new ideas in civilization. His ideas consisted of natural selection, or the idea that humans and animals adapting and changing to environments within evolution over millions of years, which has brought us to where we currently are. Darwin went on a voyage around the Galapagos Islands when he noticed the different types of birds that lived on the islands. He studied how they looked, acted, and ate to understand why they were all different. As he studied the birds, he studied their past as well and learned that the birds changed to fit their environmental needs.

History of Natural Selection and Darwin
In 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origins of Species. He wrote his book after he studied the topic for many years. At the time, many people had not heard of new and radical ideas. Darwin’s ideas and books/essays opened new windows, along with many other scientists, writers, and artists of the time. People had not seen these ideas before, because the Catholic Church had taught them everything from the bible or what they thought would benefit the church. As the picture shows below, Darwin's theory completely contradicted the Catholic Church.

Impact of Darwin and Natural Selection

Because the people had only heard things from the church, they found it interesting to hear from Darwin. The people wanted something else to hear about. The government didn’t react in any certain way because the theory didn’t affect the government. As for the church, the theories completely contradicted the Catholic beliefs in France, and the church wanted to do that same thing to Darwin as they did to Voltaire. They excommunicated Voltaire and told him to stop telling people of different ideas. Knowing that the church couldn’t do anything about Darwin because the government now had more power than the church, they just stayed strongly against his ideas and encouraged people to believe whatever they the church told them. As Darwin knew that his theory was legitimate, he kept preaching of his ideas to the people and gained many to support his idea. His argument was persuasive because it was innovative.

Charles Darwin’s theory also launched many other ideas such as Darwinism in the nineteenth century. Darwin’s natural selection is still supported today and continues to survive as the major evolution theory.


Primary Source Cartoon
My primary source is a cartoon about natural selection. Natural selection brought up the controversy that humans were once animals. Many people disagreed with this and thought that the idea than man was once beast was absurd; man was supposed to stay superior to animals. It also went against Catholic religion because Catholicism taught that humans were made in God’s image and thus have not changes through time.

Evolution Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKDSiNf_rLo


"Conflict Between God & Theory of Evolution." Mukto-mona (মুক্তমনা ) : A Secular site for Bengali humanists & freethinkers. Web. 27 Sept. 2009. <http://www.mukto-mona.com/Special_Event_/Darwin_day/god_darwin/index.htm>.

"Darwin's Finches & Natural Selection - Biology Online." Life Science Reference - Biology Online. Web. 27 Sept. 2009. <http://www.biology-online.org/2/11_natural_selection.htm>.

"Evolution | OH, FOR THE LOVE OF SCIENCE!" OH, FOR THE LOVE OF SCIENCE! | “The unexamined life is not worth living.” -Socrates. Web. 27 Sept. 2009. <http://ohfortheloveofscience.com/tag/evolution/>.

"My growing impatience with creationists: a side by side comparison of evolutionary biology and creationism |." Dangerous Intersection. Web. 27 Sept. 2009. <http://dangerousintersection.org/2009/02/27/my-growing-impatience-with-creationists-a-side-by-side-comparison-of-evolutionary-biology-and-creationism/>.

"Natural Selection—Theory or Reality? - Answers in Genesis." Answers in Genesis - Creation, Evolution, Christian Apologetics. Web. 27 Sept. 2009. <http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v4/n1/natural-selection>.

"Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (excerpt), 1859." DISCovering World History. Online Edition. Gale, 2003. Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/History/

Riley, Mark T. "Great Thinkers of the Western World Edition 1992 p364(5) Charles Darwin." History Resource Center: World. Gale Cengage Learning. Web. 27 Sept. 2009. <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/History/hits?docNum=A16641343&tab=2&locID=sain62671&nav=1&origSearch=false&hdb=ALL&t=RK&s=1&r=d&items=0&secondary=true&o=&sortOrder=RE&n=10&l=dJ&sgPhrase=true&c=4&tabMap=103&bucket=iac&SU=natural+selection>

"YouTube - Darwin's Theory Of Evolution - A Brief History." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Web. 27 Sept. 2009. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKDSiNf_rLo>.