DAR­WIN DAY

First News - - Special Report -

CHARLES Dar­win was a great Vic­to­rian ge­ol­o­gist, nat­u­ral­ist and one of the most im­por­tant sci­en­tists in his­tory. On his birthday, 12 Fe­bru­ary, we celebrate and hon­our the man be­hind the the­ory of evo­lu­tion.

He looked closely at the nat­u­ral world, study­ing or­gan­isms and their en­vi­ron­ment, and de­vel­oped ideas about how the Earth and its in­hab­i­tants had evolved. Dar­win’s sci­en­tific the­o­ries were very dif­fer­ent from those of other peo­ple at the time, and it took great courage for him to pub­lish his ideas. To­day, Dar­win’s most sig­nif­i­cant idea, the The­ory of Evo­lu­tion, shapes the way that many of us think about our past and where we came from. him later de­velop his the­ory of evo­lu­tion. out­lined his con­tro­ver­sial idea that mem­bers of the same species could change over time in or­der to adapt more suc­cess­fully to their en­vi­ron­ment. Dar­win used the beak types of finches as an ex­am­ple. Over many years, finches that had moved to new en­vi­ron­ments had de­vel­oped dif­fer­ent types of beak to en­able them to make use of new food sources. Dar­win fur­ther ar­gued that ex­is­tence is a com­pe­ti­tion and in­di­vid­u­als with an ad­van­tage over those around them (such as a finch with a beak bet­ter adapted to its sur­round­ings) would sur­vive longer and be able to re­pro­duce, pass­ing on that ad­van­tage to the next gen­er­a­tion. Even­tu­ally, these small ad­van­tages or changes could add to­gether to cre­ate an en­tirely new species. Dar­win later dis­cussed this idea in re­la­tion to peo­ple, ar­gu­ing that over thou­sands of years, hu­mans and apes had de­scended from the same an­ces­tor in this way.

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