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George Jackson Mivart was among those accepting evolution but attacking Darwin's naturalistic mechanism. Eventually it was realised that supernatural intervention could not be a scientific explanation, and naturalistic mechanisms such as neo-Lamarckism were favoured over natural selection as being more compatible with purpose. Even though the book did not explicitly spell out Darwin's beliefs about human origins , it had dropped a number of hints about human's animal ancestry [] and quickly became central to the debate, as mental and moral qualities were seen as spiritual aspects of the immaterial soul , and it was believed that animals did not have spiritual qualities.

This conflict could be reconciled by supposing there was some supernatural intervention on the path leading to humans, or viewing evolution as a purposeful and progressive ascent to mankind's position at the head of nature. Some conservative Roman Catholic writers and influential Jesuits opposed evolution in the late 19th and early 20th century, but other Catholic writers, starting with Mivart, pointed out that early Church Fathers had not interpreted Genesis literally in this area.

Various alternative evolutionary mechanisms favoured during " the eclipse of Darwinism " became untenable as more was learned about inheritance and mutation. The full significance of natural selection was at last accepted in the s and s as part of the modern evolutionary synthesis. During that synthesis biologists and statisticians, including R. Fisher , Sewall Wright and J. Haldane , merged Darwinian selection with a statistical understanding of Mendelian genetics. Modern evolutionary theory continues to develop.

Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, with its tree-like model of branching common descent , has become the unifying theory of the life sciences. The theory explains the diversity of living organisms and their adaptation to the environment. It makes sense of the geological record , biogeography, parallels in embryonic development, biological homologies , vestigiality , cladistics , phylogenetics and other fields, with unrivalled explanatory power; it has also become essential to applied sciences such as medicine and agriculture.


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Interest in Darwin's writings continues, and scholars have generated an extensive literature, the Darwin Industry , about his life and work. The text of Origin itself has been subject to much analysis including a variorum , detailing the changes made in every edition, first published in , [] and a concordance , an exhaustive external index published in In a survey conducted by a group of academic booksellers, publishers and librarians in advance of Academic Book Week in the United Kingdom, On the Origin of Species was voted the most influential academic book ever written.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Origin of Species

For other uses, see Origin of Species disambiguation. A work of scientific literature by Charles Darwin which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. The title page of the edition of On the Origin of Species [1]. Darwin's finches by John Gould.

Key topics. Introduction to evolution Evidence of evolution Common descent Evidence of common descent.

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Origin Of Species

Processes and outcomes. Natural history. History of evolutionary theory. Fields and applications. Applications of evolution Biosocial criminology Ecological genetics Evolutionary aesthetics Evolutionary anthropology Evolutionary computation Evolutionary ecology Evolutionary economics Evolutionary epistemology Evolutionary ethics Evolutionary game theory Evolutionary linguistics Evolutionary medicine Evolutionary neuroscience Evolutionary physiology Evolutionary psychology Experimental evolution Phylogenetics Paleontology Selective breeding Speciation experiments Sociobiology Systematics Universal Darwinism.

Social implications. Evolution as fact and theory Social effects Creation—evolution controversy Objections to evolution Level of support.

2. Darwinian Evolution

See also: History of evolutionary thought and History of biology. See also: Charles Darwin's education and Inception of Darwin's theory. See also: Development of Darwin's theory. Main article: Publication of Darwin's theory.


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See also: Reactions to On the Origin of Species. See also: History of evolutionary thought. In the sixth edition "On" was omitted, so the full title is The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. This edition is usually known as The Origin of Species.

The 6th is Darwin's final edition; there were minor modifications in the text of certain subsequent issues. See Freeman, R. Darwin Online: On the Origin of Species , Cambridge Digital Library. Retrieved 24 November Darwin Correspondence Project. Retrieved 21 March Retrieved 17 January Retrieved 7 September See letter to T.

Retrieved 16 January Would you advise me to tell Murray that my Book is not more un -orthodox, than the subject makes inevitable. That I do not discuss origin of man.

Darwin, C. Archived from the original on 7 October National Center for Science Education. Retrieved 27 June The Idea of Race. Hackett Publishing. The full title [of the book] employs the term 'race' only in the broad biological use of the word, which refers to varieties throughout organic life; however, speculation about the implications of his views specifically for the question of the human races began almost as soon as the book was published. But even here it does not matter whether the groups are from different 'races' or from the same race.

It is nests of honeybees that compete with each other, and human tribes that compete with other human tribes.

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

For Darwin, the question of group selection had nothing special to do with 'race. In this one very salient example, Darwin did see races struggling with each other. Hunter Darwin has called 'natural selection', or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.

Darwin, Het ontstaan der soorten van dieren en planten door middel van de natuurkeus of het bewaard blijven van bevoorregte rassen in de strijd des levens , transl. The British Journal for the History of Science. The Guardian. Retrieved 24 October Current debates on the origin of species. Journal of Biological Education, 43 3 , — Eros and evolution: a natural philosophy of sex. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley Pub. Quote: "When the views entertained in this volume on the origin of species, or when analogous views are generally admitted, we can dimly foresee that there will be a considerable revolution in natural history.

Broadview Press. Following Darwin's lead, most commentators cite this one passage as the only reference to man in the Origin , but they thus overlook, as did Darwin himself, two sentences that are, in their own quiet way, even more effective. Notebook C February to July pp. Retrieved 18 September The only words he allowed himself—and these out of a sense of duty that he must somewhere refer to human beings—were gnomic in their brevity. Even slow-breeding man has doubled in twenty-five years, and at this rate, in a few thousand years, there would literally not be standing room for his progeny.

Darwin Online , notes from de Beer, Gavin ed. Darwin's notebooks on transmutation of species. Part II. Second notebook [C] February to July Bulletin of the British Museum Natural History. Historical Series 2, No.


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Darwin Online, p. Charles Darwin's Natural Selection; being the second part of his big species book written from to Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. As soon as I had become, in the year or , convinced that species were mutable productions, I could not avoid the belief that man must come under the same law. Accordingly I collected notes on the subject for my own satisfaction, and not for a long time with any intention of publishing.

150th Anniversary Edition

Although in the Origin of Species, the derivation of any particular species is never discussed, yet I thought it best, in order that no honourable man should accuse me of concealing my views, to add that by the work in question 'light would be thrown on the origin of man and his history. By Charles Darwin, M.

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London, Quarterly Review —". Retrieved 24 March Tia Ghose. Retrieved 2 February Alison Flood. Five Books. Barlow, Nora , ed. Janet , Charles Darwin: Vol. Published anonymously.