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 Charles Darwin

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Joffre
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PostSubject: Charles Darwin   Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:35 pm

Charles Robert Darwin

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Born 12 February 1809
Mount House, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England
Died 19 April 1882
Down House, Kent, England

Darwin was an English naturalist who achieved lasting fame by producing considerable evidence that species originated through evolutionary change, at the same time proposing the scientific theory that natural selection is the mechanism by which such change occurs. This theory is now considered a cornerstone of biology.
Darwin developed an interest in natural history while studying first medicine, then theology. His biological finds led him to study the transmutation of species and in 1838 he conceived his theory of natural selection.

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PostSubject: Re: Charles Darwin   Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:59 pm

Charles Robert Darwin

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Darwin's work had a tremendous impact on religious thought. Many people strongly opposed the idea of evolution because it conflicted with their religious convictions. Darwin avoided talking about the theological and sociological aspects of his work, but other writers used his theories to support their own theories about society. Darwin was a reserved, thorough, hard working scholar who concerned himself with the feelings and emotions not only of his family, but friends and peers as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Charles Darwin   Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:04 pm

Charles Robert Darwin

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It has been supposed that Darwin renounced evolution on his deathbed. Shortly after his death, temperance campaigner and evangelist Lady Elizabeth Hope claimed she visited Darwin at his deathbed, and witnessed the renunciation. Her story was printed in a Boston newspaper and subsequently spread. Lady Hope's story was refuted by Darwin's daughter Henrietta who stated, "I was present at his deathbed ... He never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier."

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PostSubject: Re: Charles Darwin   Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:31 pm

Charles Robert Darwin

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Upon his return to London Darwin conducted thorough research of his notes and specimens. Out of this study grew several related theories: one, evolution did occur; two, evolutionary change was gradual, requiring thousands to millions of years; three, the primary mechanism for evolution was a process called natural selection; and four, the millions of species alive today arose from a single original life form through a branching process called "speciation."

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PostSubject: Re: Charles Darwin   Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:47 pm

Charles Robert Darwin

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The blind struggle for existence, the blind process of heredity, automatically result in the selection of the best adapted types, and a steady evolution of the stock in the direction of progress...
Darwin's work has enabled us to see the position of man and of our present civilization in a truer light. Man is not a finished product incapable of further progress. He has a long history behind him, and it is a history not of a fall, but of an ascent. And he has the possibility of further progressive evolution before him.
The few thousand years of recorded history are nothing compared to the million years during which man has been on earth, and the thousand million years of life's progress. And we can afford to be patient when the astronomers assure us of at least another thousand million years ahead of us in which to carry evolution onwards to new heights."

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PostSubject: Re: Charles Darwin   Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:09 pm

Charles Robert Darwin
A typical satire was the later caricature in Hornet magazine portraying Darwin as a non-human ape.

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Charles Darwin's Origin of Species had been met with a firestorm of controversy in reaction to Darwin's theory, largely because it was clear that it implied that human beings were evolved from animals, contradicting the story of Genesis and implying an animal nature.

At the time "Evolutionism" implied creation without divine intervention, and Darwin avoided using the words "evolution" or "evolve", though the book ends by stating that "endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." The book only briefly alluded to the idea that human beings, too, would evolve in the same way as other organisms. Darwin wrote in deliberate understatement that "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history."

Darwin's book set off a public controversy which he monitored closely, keeping press cuttings of thousands of reviews, articles, satires, parodies and caricatures. Reviewers were quick to pick out the unstated implications of "men from monkeys"

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PostSubject: Charles Robert Darwin   Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:29 am

Charles Robert Darwin


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Quotes:


A man who dares to waste an hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.

As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected.

False views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for everyone takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.

I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.

In the survival of favoured individuals and races, during the constantly-recurring struggle for existence, we see a powerful and ever-acting form of selection.

We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities - still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.

Without speculation there is no good and original observation.
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