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About Charles Darwin
Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s, the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.
Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh; instead, he helped to investigate marine invertebrates. Studies at the University of Cambridge (Christ's College) encouraged his passion for natural science. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.
Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin began detailed investigations and in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority. He was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay that described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories. Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871 he examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. His research on plants was published in a series of books, and in his final book, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil.
Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history; he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey.
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Henry Maull (1829-1914) and John Fox (1832-1907) (Maull & Fox) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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When the HMS Beagle set sail in 1831, the science of biology was not far removed from the Dark Ages. When the ship returned to England nearly five years later, Charles Darwin had the makings of a theory that would revolutionize our understanding of the natural world.
From volcanoes in the Galapagos to the coral reefs of Australia, The Voyage of the Beagle documents the young naturalist’s encounters with some of the earth’s most stunning features. Darwin’s observations of the people, places, and events he experienced make for compelling reading and offer a fascinating window into the intellectual development of his ideas about natural selection.
A brilliant travelogue and a revealing glimpse into the Victorian mindset, The Voyage of the Beagle is an indispensable companion volume to On the Origin of Species.
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Few other books have created such a lasting storm of controversy as The Origin of Species. Darwin’s theory that species derive from other species by a gradual evolutionary process and that the average level of each species is heightened by the “survival of the fittest” stirred up popular debate to fever pitch. Its acceptance revolutionized the course of science.
As Sir Julian Huxley, the noted biologist, points out in his illuminating introduction, the importance of Darwin’s contribution to modern scientific knowledge is almost impossible to evaluate: “a truly great book, one which can still be read with profit by professional biologist.”
Includes an Introduction by Sir Julian Huxley
On the Origin of Species: In one of the most important contributions to scientific knowledge, Charles Darwin puts forth the theory that species evolve over time through the process of natural selection. Drawn from extensive research performed on various creatures living in the Galápagos Islands, his research suggests that “one species does change into another”—a revolutionary notion that has shaped much of modern biology.
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: Darwin wrote his autobiography as a family document in 1876. When it was originally published posthumously, certain portions were considered too personal or controversial and were removed. This edition restores those passages, shedding light on the women in Darwin’s life and his evolving views on religion. It also includes previously unpublished notes and letters on family matters, as well as Darwin’s dispute with Samuel Butler.
The Voyage of the Beagle: From volcanoes in the Galápagos to the coral reefs of Australia, this travelogue documents the young naturalist’s historic, years-long journey at sea. Darwin’s observations of the people, places, and events he experienced make for compelling reading and offer a fascinating window into the intellectual development of his ideas about natural selection.
Applying his controversial theory of evolution to the origins of the human species, Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man was the culmination of his life's work. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by James Moore and Adrian Desmond.
In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin refused to discuss human evolution, believing the subject too 'surrounded with prejudices'. He had been reworking his notes since the 1830s, but only with trepidation did he finally publish The Descent of Man in 1871. The book notoriously put apes in our family tree and made the races one family, diversified by 'sexual selection' - Darwin's provocative theory that female choice among competing males leads to diverging racial characteristics. Named by Sigmund Freud as 'one of the ten most significant books' ever written, Darwin's Descent of Man continues to shape the way we think about what it is that makes us uniquely human.
In their introduction, James Moore and Adrian Desmond, acclaimed biographers of Charles Darwin, call for a radical re-assessment of the book, arguing that its core ideas on race were fired by Darwin's hatred of slavery. The text is the second and definitive edition and this volume also contains suggestions for further reading, a chronology and biographical sketches of prominent individuals mentioned.
Charles Darwin (1809-82), a Victorian scientist and naturalist, has become one of the most famous figures of science to date. The advent of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859 challenged and contradicted all contemporary biological and religious beliefs.
If you enjoyed The Descent of Man, you might like Darwin's On the Origin of Species, also available in Penguin Classics.
This is the sixth and definitive edition of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species, originally published in 1859 as The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; Or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggles for Life. In his famous work, Darwin presents the theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through the process of natural selection.
El origen de las especies (The origin of species, en inglés) o más exactamente El origen de las especies mediante la selección natural o la conservación de las razas favorecidas en la lucha por la vida es un libro escrito por Charles Darwin (1809 -1882), publicado el 24 de noviembre de 1859 (John Murrap, Londres); agotó los 1.250 ejemplares impresos en el primer día. En él, expuso por primera vez sus ideas sobre la selección natural y la teoría de la evolución.
Esta obra es un trabajo fundamental dentro de la historia de la ciencia y la biología. En él, Darwin argumenta largamente su teoría sobre cómo los organismos evolucionan gradualmente por medio de la selección natural, presentando evidencias de su teoría acumuladas en su viaje en el HMS Beagle en los años 1831-1836. Su teoría se oponía ampliamente a las teorías vigentes en su época, creacionismo y catastrofismo.
El libro puede ser leído por no especialistas. Aunque las ideas presentadas constituyen la base de la biología moderna continúan siendo controvertidas para ciertos grupos religiosos quienes se apoyan en una interpretación literal de textos religiosos a favor de explicaciones creacionistas.