The Cambridge Encyclopedia Of Darwin And Evolutionary Thought Pdf

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Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin , in full Charles Robert Darwin , born February 12, , Shrewsbury, Shropshire , England—died April 19, , Downe, Kent , English naturalist whose scientific theory of evolution by natural selection became the foundation of modern evolutionary studies. An affable country gentleman, Darwin at first shocked religious Victorian society by suggesting that animals and humans shared a common ancestry. However, his nonreligious biology appealed to the rising class of professional scientists, and by the time of his death evolutionary imagery had spread through all of science , literature, and politics.

Darwin, himself an agnostic , was accorded the ultimate British accolade of burial in Westminster Abbey , London. Growing up, Charles Darwin was always attracted to the sciences. In his father sent him to the University of Edinburgh to study medicine. There he was exposed to many of the dissenting ideas of the time, including those of Robert Edmond Grant, a former student of the French evolutionist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.

A botany professor suggested he join a voyage on the HMS Beagle —a trip that would provide him with much of his evidence for the theory of evolution by natural selection. Charles Darwin was born in England to a well-to-do family in His father was a doctor, and his mother—who died when he was only eight years old—was the daughter of a successful 18th-century industrialist.

Together they had 10 children, 3 of whom died at a young age. But his ideas also affected the realms of politics, economics, and literature.

Although Darwin himself was an abolitionist, the social Darwinist ideas inspired by his work contributed to some of the most racist and classist social programs of the last years. Darwin formulated his bold theory in private in —39, after returning from a voyage around the world aboard HMS Beagle , but it was not until two decades later that he finally gave it full public expression in On the Origin of Species , a book that has deeply influenced modern Western society and thought.

Darwin was the second son of society doctor Robert Waring Darwin and of Susannah Wedgwood, daughter of the Unitarian pottery industrialist Josiah Wedgwood. The boy stood in awe of his overbearing father, whose astute medical observations taught him much about human psychology.

But he hated the rote learning of Classics at the traditional Anglican Shrewsbury School, where he studied between and His father, considering the year-old a wastrel interested only in game shooting, sent him to study medicine at Edinburgh University in Later in life, Darwin gave the impression that he had learned little during his two years at Edinburgh.

In fact, it was a formative experience. There was no better science education in a British university. Edinburgh attracted English Dissenters who were barred from graduating at the Anglican universities of Oxford and Cambridge , and at student societies Darwin heard freethinkers deny the Divine design of human facial anatomy and argue that animals shared all the human mental faculties. One talk, on the mind as the product of a material brain , was officially censored, for such materialism was considered subversive in the conservative decades after the French Revolution.

Darwin was witnessing the social penalties of holding deviant views. As he collected sea slugs and sea pens on nearby shores, he was accompanied by Robert Edmond Grant, a radical evolutionist and disciple of the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. Darwin, encouraged to tackle the larger questions of life through a study of invertebrate zoology , made his own observations on the larval sea mat Flustra and announced his findings at the student societies.

In a complete change of environment, Darwin was now educated as an Anglican gentleman. Here he was shown the conservative side of botany by a young professor, the Reverend John Stevens Henslow , while that doyen of Providential design in the animal world, the Reverend Adam Sedgwick , took Darwin to Wales in on a geologic field trip.

Darwin would not sail as a lowly surgeon-naturalist but as a self-financed gentleman companion to the year-old captain, Robert Fitzroy , an aristocrat who feared the loneliness of command.

The Beagle sailed from England on December 27, Article Contents. Print print Print. Table Of Contents. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions.

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Natural selection. Read more below: On the Origin of Species. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. Gregor Mendel. Read more below: Early life and education. Read more below: The patriarch in his home laboratory. Erasmus Darwin. Read more below: The private man and the public debate. Social Darwinism. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Load Next Page.

Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought - E-bog

The latter has been split into two separate entries. It will also maintain a historical and textual approach. Other entries in this encyclopedia cited at the end of the article and the bibliography should be consulted for discussions beyond this point. The issues will be examined under the following headings:. The continuous production of popular and professional biographical studies on Darwin provide ever new insights Ruse et al. The Cambridge Darwin Online website see Other Internet Resources serves as an international clearinghouse for this worldwide Darwinian scholarship.

A comparative analysis concludes that they espoused radically different theories despite exhibiting a continuity of strategy, much common structure and the same key idea. Both were theories of evolution by means of natural selection. In , organic adaptation was confined to occasional intervals initiated and controlled by de-stabilization events. It is not a modification based on adjustments, further justifications and the integration of a Principle of Divergence. For very different reasons, neither constitutes a challenge to the basis for this comparative study. It is concluded that, in addition to the much-debated social pressures, an unacknowledged further reason why Darwin did not publish his theorizing until , could have been down to his perceptive technical judgement: wisely, he held back from rushing to publish demonstrably flawed theorizing.

This volume is a comprehensive reference work on the life, labors and influence of the great evolutionist Charles Darwin. With more than sixty essays written by an international group representing the leading scholars in the field, this is the definitive work on Darwin. It covers the background to Darwin's discovery of the theory of evolution through natural selection, the work he produced and his contemporaries' reactions to it, and evaluates his influence on science in the years since the publication of On the Origin of Species. It also explores the implications of Darwin's discoveries in religion, politics, gender, literature, culture, philosophy and medicine, critically evaluating Darwin's legacy. Fully illustrated and clearly written, it is suitable for scholars and students as well as the general reader. The wealth of information it provides about the history of evolutionary thought makes it a crucial resource for understanding the controversies that surround evolution today.

Book Chapters

Where are we now along the evolutionary path? Have we stopped evolving? And what does it mean if we have? Evolutionary concepts first appeared in early Greek writings, for example, in the work of Anaximander and Empedocles. Anaximander proposed that animals could be transformed from one kind to another, and Empedocles speculated that they could be made up of various combinations of pre-existing parts.

Evolutionary thought, the recognition that species change over time and the perceived understanding of how such processes work, has roots in antiquity—in the ideas of the ancient Greeks , Romans , and Chinese as well as in medieval Islamic science. With the beginnings of modern biological taxonomy in the late 17th century, two opposed ideas influenced Western biological thinking: essentialism , the belief that every species has essential characteristics that are unalterable, a concept which had developed from medieval Aristotelian metaphysics , and that fit well with natural theology ; and the development of the new anti-Aristotelian approach to modern science : as the Enlightenment progressed, evolutionary cosmology and the mechanical philosophy spread from the physical sciences to natural history. Naturalists began to focus on the variability of species; the emergence of paleontology with the concept of extinction further undermined static views of nature. In the early 19th century Jean-Baptiste Lamarck — proposed his theory of the transmutation of species , the first fully formed theory of evolution. Unlike Lamarck, Darwin proposed common descent and a branching tree of life , meaning that two very different species could share a common ancestor.

Charles Darwin , in full Charles Robert Darwin , born February 12, , Shrewsbury, Shropshire , England—died April 19, , Downe, Kent , English naturalist whose scientific theory of evolution by natural selection became the foundation of modern evolutionary studies. An affable country gentleman, Darwin at first shocked religious Victorian society by suggesting that animals and humans shared a common ancestry. However, his nonreligious biology appealed to the rising class of professional scientists, and by the time of his death evolutionary imagery had spread through all of science , literature, and politics.

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Darwin’s two theories, 1844 and 1859

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