Summary Of Charles Darwin's On The Origin Of Species

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Charles Darwin published his work, On the Origin of Species, a work of scientific literature known to be the foundation of evolutionary biology in 1859. On the Origin of Species summarizes Darwin’s life work and research centered around how the world and species developed to the way we know them today. His basic theory was that species were not created but evolved and that the driving force in charge of evolution was natural selection. The controversial nature of his work stemmed from his departure of the idea that evolution is a result of God’s will and that God created all species. Though his claims were against the beliefs of many, his work sold out quickly and remains to this day the basis for evolutionary biology. In his work, he establishes…show more content…
His basic argument states that variations if they are “profitable” (42) to the individual as well as in its relation to other species and nature, these variations, “will tend to the preservation of that individual, and will generally be inherited by its offspring” (42). His idea relies on the concept of survival of the fittest as it propagates beneficial traits to eliminate weaknesses and guarantee survival so that a species may not die out due to a carrying capacity. Mass extinctions and invasive species both fit Darwin’s theory as mass extinctions may result from individuals not adapted to survive while invasive species have advantageous qualities that continue to spread through reproduction allowing them to survive and dominate an area. In relation to his other theory of artificial selection, Darwin argues that natural selection is “immeasurably superior to man’s feeble efforts” (42). Additionally, in arguing that man should leave evolution to nature Darwin believes that the work of nature is, “infinitely better adapted to the most complex conditions of life, and should plainly bear the stamp of higher workmanship” (48-49). Ultimately, this is because man’s artificial selection is done for his own good as he prioritizes himself, while alterations caused by nature work for the “benefit of the community” (50-51). Thus, the relationship between natural and…show more content…
In recent years at a fast pace, developments in genetic manipulation and nanomedicine has allowed humans to reach a point of being able to shape our own species artificially and therefore override our biological processes such as instinct which evolve through natural selection. However, what are the limits of technological advancements for humans and our future? Our presence today is a result of evolution as understood by Darwin but humankind and science have evolved to a position where we can influence our environment and develop technology significantly faster than natural selection. Biological evolution as it is known is essential to our existence today and our evolution from the earliest life forms. It relies on two basic principles, “natural selection is a power which acts solely by the preservation of profitable variations” (88) and that it is a slow process when compared to our timeline. The variations Darwin talks about stem from random and accidental genetic mutations which may improve survival and reproduction thus becoming a dominant trait of future generations. Additionally, beneficial mutations may

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