Darwin Publishes Origins of Species - History

Darwin Publishes Origins of Species - History

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Darwin Publishes "Origins of Species"
In 1859 Darwin published the Origins of Species in which he posited the theory of evolution. That theory stated that man descended from apes and that only fittest species survived and evolved.

Publication of Darwin's theory

The publication of Darwin's theory brought into the open Charles Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection, the culmination of more than twenty years of work.

Thoughts on the possibility of transmutation of species which he recorded in 1836 towards the end of his five-year voyage on the Beagle were followed on his return by findings and work which led him to conceive of his theory in September 1838. He gave priority to his career as a geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, and to publication of the findings from the voyage as well as his journal of the voyage, but he discussed his evolutionary ideas with several naturalists and carried out extensive research on his "hobby" of evolutionary work. [1]

He was writing up his theory in 1858 when he received an essay from Alfred Russel Wallace who was in Borneo, describing Wallace's own theory of natural selection, prompting immediate joint publication of extracts from Darwin's 1844 essay together with Wallace's paper as On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection in a presentation to the Linnaean Society on 1 July 1858. This attracted little notice, [2] but spurred Darwin to write an "abstract" of his work which was published in 1859 as his book On the Origin of Species. [3]

Slideshow: Unraveling History’s Medical Mysteries [slideshow exclude=”1746″]The man who popularized the term “survival of the fittest” was not terribly fit himself. Born into a freethinking family of English physicians in 1809, Charles Darwin suffered from a host of conditions . read more

British naturalist Charles Darwin sets out from Plymouth, England, aboard the HMS Beagle on a five-year surveying expedition of the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Visiting such diverse places as the Galapagos Islands and New Zealand, Darwin acquired an intimate knowledge . read more

The patriarch in his home laboratory

Long periods of debilitating sickness in the 1860s left the craggy, bearded Darwin thin and ravaged. He once vomited for 27 consecutive days. Down House was an infirmary where illness was the norm and Emma the attendant nurse. She was a shield, protecting the patriarch, cosseting him. Darwin was a typical Victorian in his racial and sexual stereotyping—however dependent on his redoubtable wife, he still thought women inferior and although a fervent abolitionist, he still considered blacks a lower race. But few outside of the egalitarian socialists challenged those prejudices—and Darwin, immersed in a competitive Whig culture, and enshrining its values in his science, had no time for socialism.

The house was also a laboratory, where Darwin continued experimenting and revamping the Origin through six editions. Although quietly swearing by “my deity ‘Natural Selection,’” he answered critics by reemphasizing other causes of change—for example, the effects of continued use of an organ—and he bolstered the Lamarckian belief that such alterations through excessive use might be passed on. In Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (1868) he marshaled the facts and explored the causes of variation in domestic breeds. The book answered critics such as George Douglas Campbell, the eighth duke of Argyll, who loathed Darwin’s blind, accidental process of variation and envisaged the appearance of “new births” as goal directed. By showing that fanciers picked from the gamut of naturally occurring variations to produce the tufts and topknots on their fancy pigeons, Darwin undermined this providential explanation.

In 1867 the engineer Fleeming Jenkin argued that any single favourable variation would be swamped and lost by back-breeding within the general population. No mechanism was known for inheritance, and so in the Variation Darwin devised his hypothesis of “ pangenesis” to explain the discrete inheritance of traits. He imagined that each tissue of an organism threw out tiny “gemmules,” which passed to the sex organs and permitted copies of themselves to be made in the next generation. But Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton failed to find those gemmules in rabbit blood, and the theory was dismissed.

Darwin was adept at flanking movements in order to get around his critics. He would take seemingly intractable subjects—like orchids flowers—and make them test cases for “natural selection.” Hence the book that appeared after the Origin was, to everyone’s surprise, The Various Contrivances by which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised by Insects (1862). He showed that the orchid’s beauty was not a piece of floral whimsy “designed” by God to please humans but honed by selection to attract insect cross-pollinators. The petals guided the bees to the nectaries, and pollen sacs were deposited exactly where they could be removed by a stigma of another flower.

But why the importance of cross-pollination? Darwin’s botanical work was always subtly related to his evolutionary mechanism. He believed that cross-pollinated plants would produce fitter offspring than self-pollinators, and he used considerable ingenuity in conducting thousands of crossings to prove the point. The results appeared in The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom (1876). His next book, The Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species (1877), was again the result of long-standing work into the way evolution in some species favoured different male and female forms of flowers to facilitate outbreeding. Darwin had long been sensitive to the effects of inbreeding because he was himself married to a Wedgwood cousin, as was his sister Caroline. He agonized over its debilitating consequence for his five sons. Not that he need have worried, for they fared well: William became a banker, Leonard an army major, George the Plumian Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge, Francis a reader in botany at Cambridge, and Horace a scientific instrument maker. Darwin also studied insectivorous plants, climbing plants, and the response of plants to gravity and light (sunlight, he thought, activated something in the shoot tip, an idea that guided future work on growth hormones in plants).

1859: Darwin Published On the Origin of Species, Proposing Continual Evolution of Species

The first printing of Charles Darwin's book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, sold out in a matter of days. Darwin considered the volume a short abstract of the ideas he'd been developing about evolution by natural selection for decades. He'd been building on his ideas since his five-year journey in the 1830s to the South American coast, the Galapagos Islands, and other regions on the British ship H.M.S. Beagle. Darwin probably wouldn't have published in 1859 if not spurred by Alfred Russel Wallace's paper touching on the idea of natural selection. Wallace was a young naturalist who had developed his ideas while working in the islands of the Malay Archipelago.

Darwin's exploratory survey on the H.M.S. Beagle had brought him into contact with a wide variety of living organisms and fossils. The adaptations he saw in the finches and tortoises on the Galapagos Islands struck him particularly acutely. Darwin concluded that species change through natural selection, or - to use Wallace's phrase - through "the survival of the fittest" in a given environment.

Darwin's book immediately attracted attention and controversy, not only from the scientific community, but also from the general public, who were ignited by the social and religious implications of the theory. Darwin eventually produced six editions of this book.

In time, a growing understanding of genetics and of the fact that genes inherited from both parents remain distinct entities - even if the characteristics of parents appear to blend in their children - explained how natural selection could work and helped vindicate Darwin's proposal.

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life remains in print, in many languages.


Darwin's ideas developed rapidly after returning from the Voyage of the Beagle in 1836. By December 1838, he had developed the basic principles of his theory. At that time, similar ideas brought others disgrace and association with the revolutionary mob. [ vague ] He was conscious of the need to answer all likely objections before publishing. While he continued with research, he had an immense amount of work in hand analyzing and publishing findings from the Beagle expedition, and was repeatedly delayed by illness.

Natural history at that time was dominated by clerical naturalists who saw their science as revealing God's plan, and whose income came from the Established Church of England. [ citation needed ] Darwin found three close allies. The eminent geologist Charles Lyell, whose books had influenced the young Darwin during the Voyage of the Beagle, befriended Darwin who he saw as a supporter of his ideas of gradual geological processes with continuing divine Creation of species. By the 1840s Darwin became friends with the young botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker who had followed his father into the science, and after going on a survey voyage used his contacts to eventually find a position. [1] In the 1850s Darwin met Thomas Huxley, an ambitious naturalist who had returned from a long survey trip but lacked the family wealth or contacts to find a career [2] and who joined the progressive group around Herbert Spencer looking to make science a profession, freed from the clerics.

This was also a time of intense conflict over religious morality in England, where evangelicalism led to increasing professionalism of clerics who had previously been expected to act as country gentlemen with wide interests, but now were seriously focussed on expanded religious duties. A new orthodoxy proclaimed the virtues of truth but also inculcated beliefs that the Bible should be read literally and that religious doubt was in itself sinful so should not be discussed. Science was also becoming professional and a series of discoveries cast doubt on literal interpretations of the Bible and the honesty of those denying the findings. A series of crises erupted with fierce debate and criticism over issues such as George Combe's The Constitution of Man and the anonymous Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation which converted vast popular audiences to the belief that natural laws controlled the development of nature and society. German higher criticism questioned the Bible as a historical document in contrast to the evangelical creed that every word was divinely inspired. Dissident clergymen even began questioning accepted premises of Christian morality, and Benjamin Jowett's 1855 commentary on St. Paul brought a storm of controversy. [3]

By September 1854 Darwin's other books reached a stage where he was able to turn his attention fully to Species, and from this point he was working to publish his theory. On 18 June 1858 he received a parcel from Alfred Russel Wallace enclosing about twenty pages describing an evolutionary mechanism that was similar to Darwin's own theory. Darwin put matters in the hands of his friends Lyell and Hooker, who agreed on a joint presentation to the Linnean Society on 1 July 1858. Their papers were entitled, collectively, On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection.

Publication of The Origin of Species Edit

Darwin now worked on an "abstract" trimmed from his Natural Selection manuscript. The publisher John Murray agreed the title as On the Origin of Species through Natural Selection and the book went on sale to the trade on 22 November 1859. The stock of 1,250 copies was oversubscribed, and Darwin, still at Ilkley spa town, began corrections for a second edition. The novelist Charles Kingsley, a Christian socialist country rector, sent him a letter of praise: "It awes me. if you be right I must give up much that I have believed", it was "just as noble a conception of Deity, to believe that He created primal forms capable of self development. as to believe that He required a fresh act of intervention to supply the lacunas which he himself had made." [4] Darwin added these lines to the last chapter, with attribution to "a celebrated author and divine".

The reviewers were less encouraging. Four days before publication, a review in the authoritative Athenaeum [5] [6] (by John Leifchild, published anonymously, as was the custom at that time) was quick to pick out the unstated implications of "men from monkeys" already controversial from Vestiges, saw snubs to theologians, summing up Darwin's "creed" as man "was born yesterday – he will perish tomorrow" and concluded that "The work deserves attention, and will, we have no doubt, meet with it. Scientific naturalists will take up the author upon his own peculiar ground and there will we imagine be a severe struggle for at least theoretical existence. Theologians will say—and they have a right to be heard—Why construct another elaborate theory to exclude Deity from renewed acts of creation? Why not at once admit that new species were introduced by the Creative energy of the Omnipotent? Why not accept direct interference, rather than evolutions of law, and needlessly indirect or remote action? Having introduced the author and his work, we must leave them to the mercies of the Divinity Hall, the College, the Lecture Room, and the Museum." [7] At Ilkley, Darwin raged "But the manner in which he drags in immortality, & sets the Priests at me, & leaves me to their mercies, is base. He would on no account burn me but he will get the wood ready and tell the black beasts how to catch me." [8] Darwin sprained an ankle and his health worsened, as he wrote to friends it was "odious". [6]

By 9 December when Darwin left Ilkley to come home, he had been told that Murray was organising a second run of 3,000 copies. [9] Hooker had been "converted", Lyell was "absolutely gloating" and Huxley wrote "with such tremendous praise", advising that he was sharpening his "beak and claws" to disembowel "the curs who will bark and yelp". [10] [11]

First response Edit

Richard Owen had been the first to respond to the complimentary copies, courteously claiming that he had long believed that "existing influences" were responsible for the "ordained" birth of species. [12] Darwin now had long talks with him, and told Lyell that "Under garb of great civility, he was inclined to be most bitter & sneering against me. Yet I infer from several expressions, that at bottom he goes immense way with us." Owen was furious at being included among those defending immutability of species, and in effect said that the book offered the best explanation "ever published of the manner of formation of species", though he did not agree with it in all respects. [13] He still had the gravest doubts that transmutation would bestialise man. It appears that Darwin had assured Owen that he was looking at everything as resulting from designed laws, which Owen interpreted as showing a shared belief in "Creative Power".

Darwin had already made his views clearer to others, telling Lyell that if each step in evolution was providentially planned, the whole procedure would be a miracle and natural selection superfluous. [14] He had also sent a copy to John Herschel, and on 10 December he told Lyell of having "heard by round about channel that Herschel says my Book "is the law of higgledy-piggledy".– What this exactly means I do not know, but it is evidently very contemptuous.– If true this is great blow & discouragement." [13] Darwin subsequently corresponded with Herschel, and in January 1861 Herschel added a footnote to the draft of his Physical Geography which, while disparaging "the principle of arbitrary and casual variation and natural selection" as insufficient without "intelligent direction", said that "with some demur as to the genesis of man, we are far from disposed to repudiate the view taken of this mysterious subject in Mr. Darwin's book." [15]

Geological time Edit

It was known that the geologic time scale was "incomprehensibly vast", if unquantifiable. From 1848 Darwin discussed data with Andrew Ramsay, who had said "it is vain to attempt to measure the duration of even small portions of geological epochs." A chapter of Lyell's Principles of Geology described the enormous amount of erosion involved in forming the Weald. [16] To demonstrate the time available for natural selection to operate, Darwin drew on Lyell's example and Ramsay's data in chapter 9 of On the Origin of Species to estimate that erosion of the Weald's layered dome of Lower Cretaceous rocks "must have required 306,662,400 years or say three hundred million years." [17]

The "necessary corrections" Darwin made to his drafts for the second edition of the Origin were based on comments from others, particularly Lyell, and added a caveat suggesting a faster rate of erosion of the Weald: [18] "perhaps it would be safer to allow two or three inches per century, and this would reduce the number of years to one hundred and fifty or one hundred million years." [19] [20] Copies of the second edition were advertised as ready on 24 December, in advance of official publication on 7 January 1860. [21]

The Saturday Review of 24 December 1859 strongly criticised the methodology of Darwin's calculations. [22] On 3 January 1860, Darwin wrote to Hooker about it: "Some of the remarks about the lapse of years are very good, & the Reviewer gives me some good & well deserved raps,—confound it I am sorry to confess the truth. But it does not at all concern main argument." [23] A day later, he said to Lyell "You saw I suppose Saturday Review: argument confined to Geology, but has given me some perfectly just & severe raps on knuckles." [24]

In the third edition published on 30 April 1861, Darwin cited the Saturday Review article as reason to remove his calculation altogether. [25] [26]

Friendly reviews Edit

The December 1859 review in the British Unitarian National Review was written by Darwin's old friend William Carpenter, who was clear that only a world of "order, continuity, and progress" befitted an Omnipotent Deity and that "any theological objection" to a species of slug or a breed of dog deriving from a previous one was "simply absurd" dogma. [27] He touched on human evolution, satisfied that the struggle for existence tended "inevitably. towards the progressive exaltation of the races engaged in it".

On Boxing Day (26 December) The Times carried an anonymous review. [28] The staff reviewer, "as innocent of any knowledge of science as a babe", gave the task to Huxley, leading Darwin to ask his friend how "did you influence Jupiter Olympus and make him give three and a half columns to pure science? The old fogies will think the world will come to an end." Darwin treasured the piece more than "a dozen reviews in common periodicals", but noted "Upon my life I am sorry for Owen. he will be so d—d savage, for credit given to any other man, I strongly suspect, is in his eyes so much credit robbed from him. Science is so narrow a field, it is clear there ought to be only one cock of the walk!". [29]

Hooker also wrote a favourable review, which appeared at the end of December in the Gardener's Chronicle and treated the theory as an extension of horticultural lore. [30]

Clerical concern, atheist enthusiasm Edit

In his lofty position at the head of Science, Owen received numerous complaints about the book. The Revd. Adam Sedgwick, geologist at the University of Cambridge who had taken Darwin on his first geology field trip, could not see the point in a world without providence. The missionary David Livingstone could see no struggle for existence on the African plains. Jeffries Wyman at Harvard saw no truth in chance variations.

The most enthusiastic response came from atheists, with Hewett Watson hailing Darwin as the "greatest revolutionist in natural history of this century". [31] The 68-year-old Robert Edmund Grant, who had shown him the study of invertebrates when Darwin was a student at the University of Edinburgh and who was still teaching Lamarckian evolution weekly at University College London, brought out a small book on classification dedicated to Darwin: "With one fell-sweep of the wand of truth, you have now scattered to the winds the pestilential vapours accumulated by 'species-mongers'." [32]

In January 1860, Darwin told Lyell of a reported incident at Waterloo Bridge Station: "I never till to day realised that it was getting widely distributed for in a letter from a lady today to Emma, she says she heard a man enquiring for it at Railway Station. at Waterloo Bridge & the Bookseller said that he had none till new Edit. was out.— The Bookseller said he had not read it but had heard it was a very remarkable book. " [33]

Asa Gray in the United States Edit

In December 1859 the botanist Asa Gray negotiated with a Boston publisher for publication of an authorised American version, however, he learnt that two New York publishing firms were already planning to exploit the absence of international copyright to print Origin. [34] Darwin wrote in January, "I never dreamed of my Book being so successful with general readers: I believe I should have laughed at the idea of sending the sheets to America." and asked Gray to keep any profits. [35] Gray managed to negotiate a 5 per cent royalty with Appleton's of New York, [36] who got their edition out in mid January, and the other two withdrew. In a May letter Darwin mentioned a print run of 2,500 copies, but it is not clear if this was the first printing alone as there were four that year. [37] [38]

When sending his Historical preface and corrections for the American edition in February, Darwin thanked Asa Gray for his comments, as "a Review from a man, who is not an entire convert, if fair & moderately favourable, is in all respects the best kind of Review. About weak points I agree. The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder, but when I think of the fine known gradations, my reason tells me I ought to conquer the cold shudder." [39] In April he continued, "It is curious that I remember well time when the thought of the eye made me cold all over, but I have got over this stage of the complaint, & now small trifling particulars of structure often make me very uncomfortable. The sight of a feather in a peacock's tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!" [40] A month later Darwin emphasised that he was bewildered by the theological aspects and "had no intention to write atheistically, but could not see, as plainly as others do, & as I sh d wish to do, evidence of design & beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars" – expressing his particular revulsion at the Ichneumonidae family of parasitic wasps that lay their eggs in the larvae and pupae of other insects so that their parasitoid young have a ready source of food. He therefore could not believe in the necessity of design, but rather than attributing the wonders of the universe to brute force was "inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me. I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton" – referring to Isaac Newton. [41]

Erasmus and Martineau Edit

Darwin's brother Erasmus reported on 23 November that their cousin Henry Holland was reading the book and in "a dreadful state of indecision", sure that explaining the eye would be "utterly impossible", but after reading it "he hummed & hawed & perhaps it was partly conceivable". Erasmus himself thought it "the most interesting book I ever read", [42] and sent a copy to his old flame Miss Harriet Martineau who, at 58, was still reviewing from her home in the Lake District. Martineau sent her thanks, adding that she had previously praised "the quality & conduct of your brother's mind, but it is an unspeakable satisfaction to see here the full manifestation of its earnestness & simplicity, its sagacity, its industry, & the patient power by w h . it has collected such a mass of facts, to transmute them by such sagacious treatment into such portentious knowledge. I sh d . much like to know how large a proportion of our scientific men believe he has found a sound road." [43]

Writing to her fellow Malthusian (and atheist) George Holyoake she enthused, "What a book it is! – overthrowing (if true) revealed Religion on the one hand, & Natural (as far as Final Causes & Design are concerned) on the other. The range & mass of knowledge take away one's breath." To Fanny Wedgwood she wrote, "I rather regret that C.D. went out of his way two or three times to speak of "The Creator" in the popular sense of the First Cause. His subject is the 'Origin of Species' & not the origin of Organisation & it seems a needless mischief to have opened the latter speculation at all – There now! I have delivered my mind."

Clerical reaction Edit

The Revd. Adam Sedgwick had received his copy "with more pain than pleasure." [44] Without Creation showing divine love, "humanity, to my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalise it, and sink the human race. " He indicated that unless Darwin accepted God's revelation in nature and scripture, Sedgwick would not meet Darwin in heaven, a sentiment that upset Emma. The Revd. John Stevens Henslow, the botany professor whose natural history course Charles had joined thirty years earlier, gave faint praise to the Origin as "a stumble in the right direction" but distanced himself from its conclusions, "a question past our finding out. " [45]

The Anglican establishment predominantly opposed Darwin. Palmerston, who became Prime Minister in June 1859, mooted Darwin's name to Queen Victoria as a candidate for the Honours List with the prospect of a knighthood. While Prince Albert supported the idea, after the publication of the Origin Queen Victoria's ecclesiastical advisers, including the Bishop of Oxford Samuel Wilberforce, dissented and the request was denied. [46] Some Anglicans were more in favour, and Huxley reported of Kingsley that "He is an excellent Darwinian to begin with, and told me a capital story of his reply to Lady Aylesbury who expressed astonishment at his favouring such a heresy – 'What can be more delightful to me Lady Aylesbury, than to know that your Ladyship & myself sprang from the same toad stool.' Whereby the frivolous old woman shut up, in doubt whether she was being chaffed or adored for her remark."

There was no official comment from the Vatican for several decades, but in 1860 a council of the German Catholic bishops pronounced that the belief that "man as regards his body, emerged finally from the spontaneous continuous change of imperfect nature to the more perfect, is clearly opposed to Sacred Scripture and to the Faith." This defined the range of official Catholic discussion of evolution, which has remained almost exclusively concerned with human evolution. [47]

Huxley and Owen Edit

On 10 February 1860 Huxley gave a lecture titled On Species and Races, and their Origin at the Royal Institution, [48] reviewing Darwin's theory with fancy pigeons on hand to demonstrate artificial selection, as well as using the occasion to confront the clergy with his aim of wresting science from ecclesiastical control. He referred to Galileo's persecution by the church, "the little Canutes of the hour enthroned in solemn state, bidding that great wave to stay, and threatening to check its beneficent progress." He hailed the Origin as heralding a "new Reformation" in a battle against "those who would silence and crush" science, and called on the public to cherish Science and "follow her methods faithfully and implicitly in their application to all branches of human thought," for the future of England. [49] To Darwin such rhetoric was "time wasted" and on reflection he thought the lecture "an entire failure which gave no just idea of natural selection," [48] but by March he was listing those on "our side" as against the "outsiders." His close allies were Hooker and Huxley, and in August he called Huxley his "good and kind agent for the propagation of the Gospel – i.e. the devil's gospel." [50]

The position of Richard Owen was unknown: when emphasising to a Parliamentary committee the need for a new Natural History museum, he pointed out that "The whole intellectual world this year has been excited by a book on the origin of species and what is the consequence? Visitors come to the British Museum, and they say, 'Let us see all these varieties of pigeons: where is the tumbler, where is the pouter?' and I am obliged with shame to say, I can show you none of them. " As to showing you the varieties of those species, or of any of those phenomena that would aid one in getting at that mystery of mysteries, the origin of species, our space does not permit but surely there ought to be a space somewhere, and, if not in the British Museum, where is it to be obtained?"

Huxley's April review in the Westminster Review included the first mention of the term "Darwinism" in the question, "What if the orbit of Darwinism should be a little too circular?" [51] Darwin thought it a "brilliant review." [52]

Overflowing the narrow bounds of purely scientific circles, the "species question" divides with Italy and the Volunteers the attention of general society. Everybody has read Mr. Darwin's book, or, at least, has given an opinion upon its merits or demerits pietists, whether lay or ecclesiastic, decry it with the mild railing which sounds so charitable bigots denounce it with ignorant invective old ladies of both sexes consider it a decidedly dangerous book, and even savants, who have no better mud to throw, quote antiquated writers to show that its author is no better than an ape himself while every philosophical thinker hails it as a veritable Whitworth gun in the armoury of liberalism and all competent naturalists and physiologists, whatever their opinions as to the ultimate fate of the doctrines put forth, acknowledge that the work in which they are embodied is a solid contribution to knowledge and inaugurates a new epoch in natural history. – Thomas Huxley, 1860 [51]

When Owen's own anonymous review of the Origin appeared in the April Edinburgh Review he praised himself and his own axiom of the continuous operation of the ordained becoming of living things, and showed his anger at what he saw as Darwin's caricature of the creationist position and ignoring Owen's pre-eminence. To him, new species appeared at birth, not through natural selection. As well as attacking Darwin's "disciples" Hooker and Huxley, he thought that the book symbolised the sort of "abuse of science to which a neighbouring nation, some seventy years since, owed its temporary degradation." [53] Darwin had Huxley and Hooker staying with him when he read it, and he wrote telling Lyell that it was "extremely malignant, clever & I fear will be very damaging. He is atrociously severe on Huxley's lecture, & very bitter against Hooker. So we three enjoyed it together: not that I really enjoyed it, for it made me uncomfortable for one night but I have got quite over it today. It requires much study to appreciate all the bitter spite of many of the remarks against me indeed I did not discover all myself.– It scandalously misrepresents many parts. . It is painful to be hated in the intense degree with which Owen hates me." [52] He commented to Henslow that "Owen is indeed very spiteful. He misrepresents & alters what I say very unfairly. . The Londoners says he is mad with envy because my book has been talked about: what a strange man to be envious of a naturalist like myself, immeasurably his inferior!" [54]

Geological time and Phillips Edit

Darwin's had estimated that erosion of the Weald would take 300 million years, but in the second edition of On the Origin of Species published on 7 January 1860 he accepted that it would be safer to allow 150 million to 200 million years. [55]

Geologists knew the earth was ancient, but had felt unable to put realistic figures on the duration of past geological changes. Darwin's book provided a new impetus to quantifying geological time. His most prominent critic, John Phillips, had investigated how temperatures increased with depth in the 1830s, and was convinced that, contrary to Lyell and Darwin's uniformitarianism, the Earth was cooling over the long term. Between 1838 and 1855 he tried various ways of quantifying the timing of stratified deposits, without success. [56] On 17 February 1860, Phillips used his presidential address to the Geological Society of London to accuse Darwin of "abuse of arithmetic". He said 300 million years was an "inconceivable number" and that, depending on assumptions, erosion of the Weald could have taken anything from 12,000 years to at most 1,332,000 years, well below Darwin's estimate. When giving the May 1860 Rede Lecture, Phillips produced his own first published estimates of the duration of the whole stratigraphic record, [16] using rates of sedimentation to calculate it at around 96 million years. [57]

Natural persecution Edit

Most reviewers wrote with great respect, deferring to Darwin's eminent position in science though finding it hard to understand how natural selection could work without a divine selector. There were hostile comments, at the start of May he commented to Lyell that he had "received in a Manchester Newspaper a rather a good squib, showing that I have proved 'might is right', & therefore that Napoleon is right & every cheating Tradesman is also right". [58] The Saturday Review reported that "The controversy excited by the appearance of Darwin's remarkable work on the Origin of Species has passed beyond the bounds of the study and lecture-room into the drawing-room and the public street." [59]

The older generation of Darwin's tutors were rather negative, and later in May he told his cousin Fox that "the attacks have been falling thick & heavy on my now case-hardened hide.— Sedgwick & Clarke opened regular battery on me lately at Cambridge Phil. Soc y . & dear old Henslow defended me in grand style, saying that my investigations were perfectly legitimate." [60] While defending Darwin's honest motives and belief that "he was exalting & not debasing our views of a Creator, in attributing to him a power of imposing laws on the Organic World by which to do his work, as effectually as his laws imposed upon the inorganic had done it in the Mineral Kingdom", Henslow had not disguised his own opinion that "Darwin has pressed his hypothesis too far". [61]

In June, Karl Marx saw the book as a "bitter satire" that showed "a basis in natural science for class struggle in history", in which "Darwin recognizes among beasts and plants his English society". [62]

Darwin remarked to Lyell, "I must be a very bad explainer. Several Reviews, & several letters have shown me too clearly how little I am understood. I suppose natural selection was bad term but to change it now, I think, would make confusion worse confounded. Nor can I think of better Natural preservation would not imply a preservation of particular varieties & would seem a truism & would not bring man's & nature's selection under one point of view. I can only hope by reiterated explanations finally to make matter clearer." [63] It was too illegible for Lyell, and Darwin later apologised "I am utterly ashamed & groan over my hand-writing. It was Natural Preservation. Natural persecution is what the author ought to suffer." [64]

Essays and Reviews Edit

Around February 1860 liberal theologians entered the fray, when seven produced a manifesto titled Essays and Reviews. These Anglicans included Oxford professors, country clergymen, the headmaster of Rugby school and a layman. Their declaration that miracles were irrational stirred up unprecedented anger, drawing much of the fire away from Darwin. Essays sold 22,000 copies in two years, more than the Origin sold in twenty years, and sparked five years of increasingly polarised debate with books and pamphlets furiously contesting the issues.

The most scientific of the seven was the Reverend Baden Powell, who held the Savilian chair of geometry at the University of Oxford. Referring to "Mr Darwin's masterly volume" and restating his argument that God is a lawgiver, miracles break the lawful edicts issued at Creation, therefore belief in miracles is atheistic, he wrote that the book "must soon bring about an entire revolution in opinion in favour of the grand principle of the self-evolving powers of nature." He drew attacks, with Sedgwick accusing him of "greedily" adopting nonsense and Tory reviews saying he was joining "the infidel party". He would have been on the platform at the British Association debate, facing the bishop, but died of a heart attack on 11 June.

The British Association debate Edit

The most famous confrontation took place at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Oxford on Saturday 30 June 1860. While there was no formal debate organised on the issue, Professor John William Draper of New York University was to talk on Darwin and social progress at a routine "Botany and Zoology" meeting. The new museum hall was crowded with clergy, undergraduates, Oxford dons and gentlewomen anticipating that Samuel Wilberforce, the Bishop of Oxford, would speak to repeat the savage trouncing he had given in 1847 to the Vestiges published anonymously by Robert Chambers. Owen lodged with Wilberforce the night before, but Wilberforce would have been well prepared as he had just reviewed the Origin for the Tory Quarterly for a fee of £60. [65] Huxley was not going to wait for the meeting, but met Chambers who accused him of "deserting them" and changed his mind. Darwin was taking treatment at Dr. Lane's new hydropathic establishment at Sudbrooke Park, Petersham, near Richmond in Surrey.

From Hooker's account, Draper "droned on for an hour", then for half an hour "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce replied with the eloquence that had earned him his nickname. This time the climate of opinion had changed and the ensuing debate was more evenly matched, with Hooker being particularly successful in defence of Darwin's ideas. In response to what Huxley took as a jibe from Wilberforce as to whether it was on Huxley's grandfather's or grandmother's side that he was descended from an ape, Huxley made a reply which he later recalled as being that "[if asked] would I rather have a miserable ape for a grandfather or a man highly endowed by nature and possessed of great means and influence and yet who employs these faculties and that influence for the mere purpose of introducing ridicule into a grave scientific discussion I unhesitatingly affirm my preference for the ape". No verbatim record was taken: eyewitness accounts exist, and vary somewhat. [66] [67] [68]

Robert FitzRoy, who had been the captain of HMS Beagle during Darwin's voyage, was there to present a paper on storms. During the debate FitzRoy, seen by Hooker as "a grey haired Roman nosed elderly gentleman", stood in the centre of the audience and "lifting an immense Bible first with both and afterwards with one hand over his head, solemnly implored the audience to believe God rather than man". As he admitted that the Origin of Species had given him "acutest pain" the crowd shouted him down.

Hooker's "blood boiled, I felt myself a dastard now I saw my advantage–I swore to myself I would smite that Amalekite Sam hip and thigh", (he was invited up to the platform and) "there and then I smacked him amid rounds of applause. proceeded to demonstrate. that he could never have read your book. wound up with a very few observations on the. old and new hypotheses. Sam was shut up. and the meeting was dissolved forthwith leaving you [Darwin] master of the field after 4 hours battle." [69]

Both sides came away claiming victory, with Hooker and Huxley each sending Darwin rather contradictory triumphant accounts. Supporters of Darwinism seized on this meeting as a sign that the idea of evolution could not be suppressed by authority, and would be defended vigorously by its advocates. Liberal clerics were also satisfied that literal belief in all aspects of the Bible was now questioned by science they were sympathetic to some of the ideas in Essays and Reviews. [70] [71] William Whewell wrote to his friend James David Forbes that "Perhaps the Bishop was not prudent to venture into a field where no eloquence can supersede the need for precise knowledge. The young naturalists declared themselves in favour of Darwin’s views which tendency I saw already at Leeds two years ago. I am sorry for it, for I reckon Darwin’s book to be an utterly unphilosophical one." [72]

Wilberforce's Quarterly review Edit

In late July Darwin read Wilberforce's review in the Quarterly. [65] It used a 60-year-old parody from the Anti-Jacobin of the prose of Darwin's grandfather Erasmus, implying old revolutionary sympathies. It argued that if "transmutations were actually occurring" this would be seen in rapidly reproducing invertebrates, and since it isn't, why think that "the favourite varieties of turnips are tending to become men". Darwin pencilled "rubbish" in the margin. To the statement about classification that "all creation is the transcript in matter of ideas eternally existing in the mind of the Most High!!", Darwin scribbled "mere words". At the same time, Darwin was willing to grant that Wilberforce's review was clever: he wrote to Hooker that "it picks out with skill all the most conjectural parts, and brings forward well all the difficulties. It quizzes me quite splendidly by quoting the 'Anti-Jacobin' against my Grandfather." [73]

Wilberforce also attacked Essays and Reviews in the Quarterly Review, [74] and in a letter to The Times, signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and 25 bishops, which threatened the theologians with the ecclesiastical courts. [75] Darwin quoted a proverb: "A bench of bishops is the devil's flower garden", and joined others including Lyell, though not Hooker and Huxley, in signing a counter-letter supporting Essays and Reviews for trying to "establish religious teachings on a firmer and broader foundation". Despite this alignment of pro-evolution scientists and Unitarians with liberal churchmen, two of the authors were indicted for heresy and lost their jobs by 1862. [75]

Geological time, Phillips and third edition Edit

In October 1860, John Phillips published Life on the Earth, its origin and succession, reiterating points from his Rede Lecture and disputing Darwin's arguments. [76] He sent a copy to Darwin, who thanked him, though "sorry, but not surprised, to see that you are dead against me". [77]

On 20 November, Darwin told Lyell of his revisions for a third edition of the Origin, including removing his estimate of the time it took for the Weald to erode: "The confounded Wealden calculation, to be struck out. & a note to be inserted to effect that I am convinced of its inaccuracy from Review in Saturday R. & from Phillips, as I see in Table of Contents that he attacks it." [78] He later told Lyell that "Having burnt my own fingers so consumedly with the Wealden, I am fearful for you", and advised caution: "for Heaven-sake take care of your fingers to burn them severely, as I have done, is very unpleasant." [79] The third edition, as published on 30 April 1861, stated "The computation of time required for the denudation of the Weald omitted. I have been convinced of its inaccuracy in several respects by an excellent article in the 'Saturday Review,' Dec. 24, 1859." [26]

Natural History Review Edit

The Natural History Review was bought and refurbished by Huxley, Lubbock, Busk and other "plastically minded young men" – supporters of Darwin. The first issue in January 1861 carried Huxley's paper on man's relationship to apes, "showing up" Owen. Huxley cheekily sent a copy to Wilberforce.

As the battles raged, Darwin returned home from the spa to proceed with experiments on chloroforming carnivorous sundew plants, looking over his Natural Selection manuscript and drafting two chapters on pigeon breeding that would eventually form part of The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication. [25] He wrote to Asa Gray and used the example of fantail pigeons to argue against Gray's belief "that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines", with the implication of Creationism rather than Natural Selection. [80]

Over the winter he organised a third edition of the Origin, adding an introductory historical sketch. Asa Gray had published three supportive articles in the Atlantic Monthly. Darwin persuaded Gray to publish them as a pamphlet, and was delighted when Gray came up with the title of Natural Selection Not Inconsistent with Natural Theology. Darwin paid half the cost, imported 250 copies into Britain and as well as advertising it in periodicals and sending 100 copies out to scientists, reviewers, and theologians (including Wilberforce), he included in the Origin a recommendation for it, available to be purchased for 1s. 6d. from Trübner's in Paternoster Row.

The Huxleys became close family friends, frequently visiting Down House. When their 3-year-old son died of scarlet fever they were badly affected. Henrietta Huxley brought their three infants to Down in March 1861 where Emma helped to console her, while Huxley continued with his working-men's lectures at the Royal School of Mines, writing that "My working men stick with me wonderfully, the house fuller than ever, By next Friday evening they will all be convinced that they are monkeys." [81]

Arguments with Owen Edit

Huxley's arguments with Owen continued in the Athenaeum so that each Saturday Darwin could read the latest ripostes. Owen tried to smear Huxley by portraying him as an "advocate of man's origins from a transmuted ape", and one of his contributions was titled "Ape-Origin of Man as Tested by the Brain". This backfired, as Huxley had already delighted Darwin by speculating on "pithecoid man" – ape-like man, and was glad of the invitation to publicly turn the anatomy of brain structure into a question of human ancestry. He was determined to indict Owen for perjury, promising "before I have done with that mendacious humbug I will nail him out, like a kite to a barn door, an example to all evil doers." [82] Darwin egged him on from Down, writing "Oh Lord what a thorn you must be in the poor dear man's side". [83]

Their campaign ran over two years and was devastatingly successful, with each "slaying" being followed by a recruiting drive for the Darwinian cause. The spite lingered. When Huxley joined the Zoological Society Council in 1861, Owen left, and in the following year Huxley moved to stop Owen from being elected to the Royal Society Council as "no body of gentlemen" should admit a member "guilty of wilful & deliberate falsehood."

Lyell was troubled both by Huxley's belligerence and by the question of ape ancestry, but got little sympathy from Darwin who teased him that "Our ancestor was an animal which breathed water, had a swim bladder, a great swimming tail, an imperfect skull, and undoubtedly was a hermaphrodite! Here is a pleasant genealogy for mankind." [84] [85] Lyell began work on a book examining human origins.

Geological time: William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) Edit

Like the geologist John Phillips, the physicist William Thomson (later ennobled as Lord Kelvin) had considered since the 1840s that the physics of thermodynamics required that the Earth was cooling from an initial molten state. This contradicted Lyell's uniformitarian concept of unchanging processes over deep geological time, which Darwin shared and had assumed would allow ample time for the slow process of natural selection. [56]

In June 1861 Thomson asked Phillips how geologists felt about Darwin's "prodigious durations for geological epochs". and mentioned his own preliminary calculation that the Sun was 20 million years old, with the Earth at most 200 to 1,000 million years old. Phillips discussed his own published view that stratified rocks went back 96 million years, and dismissed Darwin's original estimate that the Weald had taken 300 million years to erode. In September 1861 Thomson produced a paper "On the age of the Sun's heat" which estimated that the Sun was between 100 and 500 million years old, [86] and in 1862 he used assumptions on the rate of cooling from a molten condition to estimate the age of the Earth at 98 million years. The dispute continued for the rest of Darwin's life. [87]

The reception of Darwin's ideas continued to arouse scientific and religious debates, and wide public interest. Satirical cartoonists seized on animal ancestry in relation to other topical issues, drawing on a long tradition of identifying animal traits in humans. In Britain mass circulation magazines were droll rather than cruel, and thus presented Darwin's theory in an unthreatening way. Due to illness, Darwin began growing a beard in 1862, and when he reappeared in public in 1866 with a bushy beard, caricatures centred on Darwin and his new look contributed to a trend in which all forms of evolutionism were identified with Darwinism. [88] [89]

  1. ^Desmond & Moore 1991, pp. 313–320, 325–326
  2. ^Desmond & Moore 1991, pp. 403–404
  3. ^Altholz 1976
  4. ^Letter 2534 – Kingsley, Charles to Darwin, C. R., 18 Nov 1859, Darwin Correspondence Project, archived from the original on 29 June 2009
  5. ^
  6. "LITERATURE". 19 November 1859.
  7. ^ abBrowne 2002, p. 87
  8. ^Leifchild 1859
  9. ^
  10. Letter 2542 – Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., 22 Nov 1859, Darwin Correspondence Project
  11. ^
  12. Letter 2570 – Darwin, C. R. to Murray, John (b), 4 Dec (1859), Darwin Correspondence Project
  13. ^
  14. Letter 2544 – Huxley, T. H. to Darwin, C. R., 23 Nov (1859), Darwin Correspondence Project
  15. ^Darwin 1887, pp. 228–232
  16. ^
  17. Letter 2526 – Owen, Richard to Darwin, C. R., 12 Nov (1859), Darwin Correspondence Project
  18. ^ ab
  19. Letter 2575 – Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, (10 Dec 1859), Darwin Correspondence Project
  20. ^
  21. Letter 2507 – Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 20 Oct (1859), Darwin Correspondence Project
  22. ^Darwin & Seward 1903, pp. 190–191
  23. Darwin, Charles (23 May 1861). "Darwin, C. R. to Herschel, J. F. W."Darwin Correspondence Project. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Library. Letter 3154 . Retrieved 28 January 2016 .
  24. ^ abHerbert 2005, pp. 350–351.
  25. ^Darwin & Costa 2009, pp. 284–287.
  26. ^Burchfield 1974, pp. 303–304.
  27. ^Darwin & Costa 2009, p. 287.
  28. ^Darwin 1860, p. 287.
  29. ^Freeman 1977a.
  30. ^ Anon (24 December 1859) [Review of] On the origin of species, Saturday Review, pp. 775–776.
  31. ^
  32. "Letter no. 2635 Darwin, C.R. to Hooker, J.D."Darwin Correspondence Project. 3 January 1860 . Retrieved 1 May 2017 .
  33. ^
  34. "Letter no. 2637 Darwin, C.R. to Lyell, C". Darwin Correspondence Project. 4 January 1860 . Retrieved 1 May 2017 .
  35. ^ ab
  36. Charles Darwin's journal for 1860, Darwin Online
  37. ^ abDarwin 1861, p. xii harvnb error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFDarwin1861 (help)
  38. ^Carpenter 1859
  39. ^Huxley 1859
  40. ^
  41. Letter 2611 – Darwin, C. R. to Huxley, T. H., 28 Dec (1859), Darwin Correspondence Project
  42. ^Hooker 1859
  43. ^
  44. Letter 2540 – Watson, H. C. to Darwin, C. R., 21 Nov (1859), Darwin Correspondence Project
  45. ^
  46. Letter 3150 – Grant, R. E. to Darwin, C. R., 16 May 1861, Darwin Correspondence Project
  47. ^
  48. Letter 2650 – Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 14 Jan (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project
  49. ^
  50. Letter 2592 – Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 21 Dec (1859), Darwin Correspondence Project, archived from the original on 13 February 2009 , retrieved 6 December 2008
  51. ^
  52. Letter 2665 – Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 28 Jan (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project, archived from the original on 13 February 2009 , retrieved 6 December 2008
  53. ^
  54. Letter 2706 – Gray, Asa to Darwin, C. R., 20 Feb 1860, Darwin Correspondence Project, archived from the original on 13 February 2009 , retrieved 6 December 2008
  55. ^Desmond & Moore 1991, p. 492
  56. ^
  57. Darwin Online: On the Origin of Species , retrieved 6 December 2008
  58. ^
  59. Letter 2701 – Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, (8–9 Feb 1860), Darwin Correspondence Project , retrieved 5 December 2008
  60. ^
  61. Letter 2743 – Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 3 Apr (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project , retrieved 5 December 2008
  62. ^
  63. Letter 2814 – Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 22 May (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project
  64. ^
  65. "Letter no. 2545 Darwin, E.A., to Darwin, C.R."Darwin Correspondence Project. 23 November 1859 . Retrieved 3 May 2017 .
  66. ^ Spelling and abbreviations as Desmond & Moore 1991, p. 486.
  67. ^
  68. Letter 2548 – Sedgwick, Adam to Darwin, C. R., 24 Nov 1859, Darwin Correspondence Project
  69. ^Henslow 1861
  70. ^Desmond & Moore 1991, p. 488.
  71. ^ Harrison, Brian W., Early Vatican Responses to Evolutionist Theology, Living Tradition, Organ of the Roman Theological Forum, May 2001 – quotation from here. See also: Artigas, Mariano Glick, Thomas F., Martínez, Rafael A. Negotiating Darwin: the Vatican confronts evolution, 1877–1902, JHU Press, 2006, 0-8018-8389-X, 9780801883897, Google books
  72. ^ ab
  73. Letter 2696 – Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., 14 Feb (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project , retrieved 22 March 2009
  74. ^
  75. Charles Blinderman David Joyce (1998), The Huxley File § 4 Darwin's Bulldog, Clark University , retrieved 22 March 2009
  76. Thomas Henry Huxley, On Species and Races, and Their Origin (1860) , retrieved 22 March 2009
  77. ^Darwin 1887, p. 331
  78. Letter 2893 – Darwin, C. R. to Huxley, T. H., 8 Aug (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project , retrieved 14 August 2009
  79. ^ abHuxley 1860
  80. ^ ab
  81. Letter 2754 – Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 10 Apr (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project , retrieved 14 August 2009
  82. ^Owen 1860
  83. ^
  84. Letter 2791 – Darwin, C. R. to Henslow, J. S., 8 May (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project , retrieved 14 August 2009
  85. ^Darwin & Costa 2009, p. 286.
  86. ^ abMorrell 2001, pp. 87–88.
  87. ^Morrell 2001, p. 88.
  88. ^
  89. "Letter 2782 – Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 4 May (1860)". Darwin Correspondence Project . Retrieved 17 February 2011 .
  90. ^ Anon (5 May 1860), "Professor Owen on the Origin of Species", The Saturday Review, London, p. 579.
  91. ^
  92. Letter 2809 – Darwin, C. R. to Fox, W. D., 18 May (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project , retrieved 7 December 2008
  93. ^
  94. Letter 2794 – Henslow, J. S. to Hooker, J. D., 10 May 1860, Darwin Correspondence Project , retrieved 7 December 2008
  95. ^ Letter from Karl Marx to Engels dated 18 June 1862 cited in Browne (2002, pp. 187–188).
  96. ^
  97. Letter 2822 – Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 6 June (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project , retrieved 6 December 2008
  98. ^
  99. Letter 2935 – Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 3 Oct (1860), Darwin Correaspondence Project , retrieved 6 December 2008
  100. ^ abWilberforce 1860
  101. ^ Jenson, J. Vernon 1991. Thomas Henry Huxley: communicating for science. U. of Delaware Press, Newark. [Chapter 3 is an excellent survey, and its notes gives references to all the eyewitness accounts except Newton]
  102. ^Wollaston 1921, pp. 118–120
  103. ^Lucas 1979
  104. ^
  105. Letter 2852 – Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, C. R., 2 July (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project
  106. ^ Jenson, J. Vernon 1991. Thomas Henry Huxley: communicating for science. U. of Delaware Press, Newark.
  107. ^ See also: Alfred Newton#Reception of the Origin of Species and Thomas Henry Huxley#Debate with Wilberforce
  108. ^
  109. James A. Secord (20 September 2003). Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. University of Chicago Press. p. 514. ISBN978-0-226-15825-9 . ,
    William Whewell Quotes - 38 Science Quotes - Dictionary of Science Quotations and Scientist Quotes, Letter to James D, Forbes (24 Jul 1860)
  110. ^Darwin 1887, pp. 324–325, Vol. 2
  111. ^Wilberforce 1861
  112. ^ abDesmond & Moore 1991, pp. 500–501
  113. ^
  114. Phillips, John (October 1860). Life on the Earth, its origin and succession. p. 130.
  115. ^
  116. "Letter no. 2983: Darwin, C. R. to Phillips, John". Darwin Correspondence Project. 14 November 1860 . Retrieved 25 April 2017 .
  117. ^
  118. "Letter no. 2989: Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles". Darwin Correspondence Project. 20 November 1860 . Retrieved 25 April 2017 .
  119. ^
  120. "Letter no. 2997: Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles". Darwin Correspondence Project. 25 November 1860 . Retrieved 25 April 2017 .
  121. ^
  122. Letter 2998 – Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 26 Nov (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project
  123. ^Huxley 1903, p. 276, Vol. 1. Page 190 in the first edition.
  124. ^Desmond & Moore 1991, p. 504
  125. ^
  126. Letter 3107 – Darwin, C. R. to Huxley, T. H., 1 Apr (1861), Darwin Correspondence Project
  127. ^Desmond & Moore 1991, p. 505
  128. ^
  129. Letter 2647 – Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 10 Jan (1860), Darwin Correspondence Project , retrieved 13 April 2009
  130. ^Morrell 2001, pp. 88–89.
  131. ^ Thomson, William. (1864). "On the secular cooling of the earth", read 28 April 1862. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 23, 157–170.
  132. ^Browne 2002, pp. 373–379
  133. ^Freeman 2007, p. 76

Note: this article uses Desmond and Moore, Darwin, as a general reference. Other references used for specific points or quotations.

Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual&rsquos ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.

« Survival of the fittest » is a phrase that originated from Darwinian evolutionary theory as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection. . Darwin has called &lsquonatural selection&rsquo, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. »

Books similar to or like On the Origin of Species

Evolutionary thought, the recognition that species change over time and the perceived understanding of how such processes work, has roots in antiquity—in the ideas of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Chinese as well as in medieval Islamic science. With the beginnings of modern biological taxonomy in the late 17th century, two opposed ideas influenced Western biological thinking: essentialism, the belief that every species has essential characteristics that are unalterable, a concept which had developed from medieval Aristotelian metaphysics, and that fit well with natural theology and the development of the new anti-Aristotelian approach to modern science: as the Enlightenment progressed, evolutionary cosmology and the mechanical philosophy spread from the physical sciences to natural history. Wikipedia

Objections to evolution have been raised since evolutionary ideas came to prominence in the 19th century. When Charles Darwin published his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, his theory of evolution (the idea that species arose through descent with modification from a single common ancestor in a process driven by natural selection) initially met opposition from scientists with different theories, but eventually came to receive overwhelming acceptance in the scientific community. Wikipedia

Book by English naturalist Charles Darwin published on 15 May 1862 under the full explanatory title On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids Are Fertilised by Insects, and On the Good Effects of Intercrossing. Explored in detail. Wikipedia

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Theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Also called Darwinian theory, it originally included the broad concepts of transmutation of species or of evolution which gained general scientific acceptance after Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, including concepts which predated Darwin's theories. Wikipedia

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Early life and education

Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 12 February 1809, at his family's home, The Mount. [24] [25] He was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin (née Wedgwood). His grandfathers Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood were both prominent abolitionists. Erasmus Darwin had praised general concepts of evolution and common descent in his Zoonomia (1794), a poetic fantasy of gradual creation including undeveloped ideas anticipating concepts his grandson expanded. [26]

Both families were largely Unitarian, though the Wedgwoods were adopting Anglicanism. Robert Darwin, himself quietly a freethinker, had baby Charles baptised in November 1809 in the Anglican St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury, but Charles and his siblings attended the Unitarian chapel with their mother. The eight-year-old Charles already had a taste for natural history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. That July, his mother died. From September 1818, he joined his older brother Erasmus attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School as a boarder. [27]

Darwin spent the summer of 1825 as an apprentice doctor, helping his father treat the poor of Shropshire, before going to the University of Edinburgh Medical School (at the time the best medical school in the UK) with his brother Erasmus in October 1825. Darwin found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so he neglected his studies. He learned taxidermy in around 40 daily hour-long sessions from John Edmonstone, a freed black slave who had accompanied Charles Waterton in the South American rainforest. [28]

In Darwin's second year at the university, he joined the Plinian Society, a student natural-history group featuring lively debates in which radical democratic students with materialistic views challenged orthodox religious concepts of science. [29] He assisted Robert Edmond Grant's investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of marine invertebrates in the Firth of Forth, and on 27 March 1827 presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in oyster shells were the eggs of a skate leech. One day, Grant praised Lamarck's evolutionary ideas. Darwin was astonished by Grant's audacity, but had recently read similar ideas in his grandfather Erasmus' journals. [30] Darwin was rather bored by Robert Jameson's natural-history course, which covered geology—including the debate between Neptunism and Plutonism. He learned the classification of plants, and assisted with work on the collections of the University Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe at the time. [31]

Darwin's neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican country parson. As Darwin was unqualified for the Tripos, he joined the ordinary degree course in January 1828. [32] He preferred riding and shooting to studying. During the first few months of Darwin's enrollment, his second cousin William Darwin Fox was also studying at Christ's College. Fox impressed him with his butterfly collection, introducing Darwin to entomology and influencing him to pursue beetle collecting. [33] [34] He did this zealously, and had some of his finds published in James Francis Stephens' Illustrations of British entomology (1829–32). [34] [35] Also through Fox, Darwin became a close friend and follower of botany professor John Stevens Henslow. [33] He met other leading parson-naturalists who saw scientific work as religious natural theology, becoming known to these dons as "the man who walks with Henslow". When his own exams drew near, Darwin applied himself to his studies and was delighted by the language and logic of William Paley's Evidences of Christianity [36] (1794). In his final examination in January 1831 Darwin did well, coming tenth out of 178 candidates for the ordinary degree. [37]

Darwin had to stay at Cambridge until June 1831. He studied Paley's Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity (first published in 1802), which made an argument for divine design in nature, explaining adaptation as God acting through laws of nature. [38] He read John Herschel's new book, Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy (1831), which described the highest aim of natural philosophy as understanding such laws through inductive reasoning based on observation, and Alexander von Humboldt's Personal Narrative of scientific travels in 1799–1804. Inspired with "a burning zeal" to contribute, Darwin planned to visit Tenerife with some classmates after graduation to study natural history in the tropics. In preparation, he joined Adam Sedgwick's geology course, then on 4 August travelled with him to spend a fortnight mapping strata in Wales. [39] [40]

Survey voyage on HMS Beagle

After leaving Sedgwick in Wales, Darwin spent a week with student friends at Barmouth, then returned home on 29 August to find a letter from Henslow proposing him as a suitable (if unfinished) naturalist for a self-funded supernumerary place on HMS Beagle with captain Robert FitzRoy, emphasising that this was a position for a gentleman rather than "a mere collector". The ship was to leave in four weeks on an expedition to chart the coastline of South America. [41] Robert Darwin objected to his son's planned two-year voyage, regarding it as a waste of time, but was persuaded by his brother-in-law, Josiah Wedgwood II, to agree to (and fund) his son's participation. [42] Darwin took care to remain in a private capacity to retain control over his collection, intending it for a major scientific institution. [43]

After delays, the voyage began on 27 December 1831 it lasted almost five years. As FitzRoy had intended, Darwin spent most of that time on land investigating geology and making natural history collections, while HMS Beagle surveyed and charted coasts. [13] [44] He kept careful notes of his observations and theoretical speculations, and at intervals during the voyage his specimens were sent to Cambridge together with letters including a copy of his journal for his family. [45] He had some expertise in geology, beetle collecting and dissecting marine invertebrates, but in all other areas was a novice and ably collected specimens for expert appraisal. [46] Despite suffering badly from seasickness, Darwin wrote copious notes while on board the ship. Most of his zoology notes are about marine invertebrates, starting with plankton collected in a calm spell. [44] [47]

On their first stop ashore at St Jago in Cape Verde, Darwin found that a white band high in the volcanic rock cliffs included seashells. FitzRoy had given him the first volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, which set out uniformitarian concepts of land slowly rising or falling over immense periods, [II] and Darwin saw things Lyell's way, theorising and thinking of writing a book on geology. [48] When they reached Brazil, Darwin was delighted by the tropical forest, [49] but detested the sight of slavery, and disputed this issue with Fitzroy. [50]

The survey continued to the south in Patagonia. They stopped at Bahía Blanca, and in cliffs near Punta Alta Darwin made a major find of fossil bones of huge extinct mammals beside modern seashells, indicating recent extinction with no signs of change in climate or catastrophe. He identified the little-known Megatherium by a tooth and its association with bony armour, which had at first seemed to him to be like a giant version of the armour on local armadillos. The finds brought great interest when they reached England. [51] [52]

On rides with gauchos into the interior to explore geology and collect more fossils, Darwin gained social, political and anthropological insights into both native and colonial people at a time of revolution, and learnt that two types of rhea had separate but overlapping territories. [53] [54] Further south, he saw stepped plains of shingle and seashells as raised beaches showing a series of elevations. He read Lyell's second volume and accepted its view of "centres of creation" of species, but his discoveries and theorising challenged Lyell's ideas of smooth continuity and of extinction of species. [55] [56]

Three Fuegians on board had been seized during the first Beagle voyage, then during a year in England were educated as missionaries. Darwin found them friendly and civilised, yet at Tierra del Fuego he met "miserable, degraded savages", as different as wild from domesticated animals. [57] He remained convinced that, despite this diversity, all humans were interrelated with a shared origin and potential for improvement towards civilisation. Unlike his scientist friends, he now thought there was no unbridgeable gap between humans and animals. [58] A year on, the mission had been abandoned. The Fuegian they had named Jemmy Button lived like the other natives, had a wife, and had no wish to return to England. [59]

Darwin experienced an earthquake in Chile in 1835 and saw signs that the land had just been raised, including mussel-beds stranded above high tide. High in the Andes he saw seashells, and several fossil trees that had grown on a sand beach. He theorised that as the land rose, oceanic islands sank, and coral reefs round them grew to form atolls. [60] [61]

On the geologically new Galápagos Islands, Darwin looked for evidence attaching wildlife to an older "centre of creation", and found mockingbirds allied to those in Chile but differing from island to island. He heard that slight variations in the shape of tortoise shells showed which island they came from, but failed to collect them, even after eating tortoises taken on board as food. [62] [63] In Australia, the marsupial rat-kangaroo and the platypus seemed so unusual that Darwin thought it was almost as though two distinct Creators had been at work. [64] He found the Aborigines "good-humoured & pleasant", and noted their depletion by European settlement. [65]

FitzRoy investigated how the atolls of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands had formed, and the survey supported Darwin's theorising. [61] FitzRoy began writing the official Narrative of the Beagle voyages, and after reading Darwin's diary he proposed incorporating it into the account. [66] Darwin's Journal was eventually rewritten as a separate third volume, on natural history. [67]

In Cape Town, South Africa, Darwin and FitzRoy met John Herschel, who had recently written to Lyell praising his uniformitarianism as opening bold speculation on "that mystery of mysteries, the replacement of extinct species by others" as "a natural in contradistinction to a miraculous process". [68] When organising his notes as the ship sailed home, Darwin wrote that, if his growing suspicions about the mockingbirds, the tortoises and the Falkland Islands fox were correct, "such facts undermine the stability of Species", then cautiously added "would" before "undermine". [69] He later wrote that such facts "seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species". [70]

Inception of Darwin's evolutionary theory

By the time Darwin returned to England, he was already a celebrity in scientific circles as in December 1835 Henslow had fostered his former pupil's reputation by publishing a pamphlet of Darwin's geological letters for select naturalists. [71] On 2 October 1836 the ship anchored at Falmouth, Cornwall. Darwin promptly made the long coach journey to Shrewsbury to visit his home and see relatives. He then hurried to Cambridge to see Henslow, who advised him on finding available naturalists to catalogue Darwin's animal collections and to take on the botanical specimens. Darwin's father organised investments, enabling his son to be a self-funded gentleman scientist, and an excited Darwin went round the London institutions being fêted and seeking experts to describe the collections. British zoologists at the time had a huge backlog of work, due to natural history collecting being encouraged throughout the British Empire, and there was a danger of specimens just being left in storage. [72]

Charles Lyell eagerly met Darwin for the first time on 29 October and soon introduced him to the up-and-coming anatomist Richard Owen, who had the facilities of the Royal College of Surgeons to work on the fossil bones collected by Darwin. Owen's surprising results included other gigantic extinct ground sloths as well as the Megatherium, a near complete skeleton of the unknown Scelidotherium and a hippopotamus-sized rodent-like skull named Toxodon resembling a giant capybara. The armour fragments were actually from Glyptodon, a huge armadillo-like creature, as Darwin had initially thought. [73] [52] These extinct creatures were related to living species in South America. [74]

In mid-December, Darwin took lodgings in Cambridge to organise work on his collections and rewrite his Journal. [75] He wrote his first paper, showing that the South American landmass was slowly rising, and with Lyell's enthusiastic backing read it to the Geological Society of London on 4 January 1837. On the same day, he presented his mammal and bird specimens to the Zoological Society. The ornithologist John Gould soon announced that the Galapagos birds that Darwin had thought a mixture of blackbirds, "gros-beaks" and finches, were, in fact, twelve separate species of finches. On 17 February, Darwin was elected to the Council of the Geological Society, and Lyell's presidential address presented Owen's findings on Darwin's fossils, stressing geographical continuity of species as supporting his uniformitarian ideas. [76]

Early in March, Darwin moved to London to be near this work, joining Lyell's social circle of scientists and experts such as Charles Babbage, [77] who described God as a programmer of laws. Darwin stayed with his freethinking brother Erasmus, part of this Whig circle and a close friend of the writer Harriet Martineau, who promoted the Malthusianism that underpinned the controversial Whig Poor Law reforms to stop welfare from causing overpopulation and more poverty. As a Unitarian, she welcomed the radical implications of transmutation of species, promoted by Grant and younger surgeons influenced by Geoffroy. Transmutation was anathema to Anglicans defending social order, [78] but reputable scientists openly discussed the subject and there was wide interest in John Herschel's letter praising Lyell's approach as a way to find a natural cause of the origin of new species. [68]

Gould met Darwin and told him that the Galápagos mockingbirds from different islands were separate species, not just varieties, and what Darwin had thought was a "wren" was also in the finch group. Darwin had not labelled the finches by island, but from the notes of others on the ship, including FitzRoy, he allocated species to islands. [79] The two rheas were also distinct species, and on 14 March Darwin announced how their distribution changed going southwards. [80]

By mid-March 1837, barely six months after his return to England, Darwin was speculating in his Red Notebook on the possibility that "one species does change into another" to explain the geographical distribution of living species such as the rheas, and extinct ones such as the strange extinct mammal Macrauchenia, which resembled a giant guanaco, a llama relative. Around mid-July, he recorded in his "B" notebook his thoughts on lifespan and variation across generations—explaining the variations he had observed in Galápagos tortoises, mockingbirds, and rheas. He sketched branching descent, and then a genealogical branching of a single evolutionary tree, in which "It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another", thereby discarding Lamarck's idea of independent lineages progressing to higher forms. [81]

Overwork, illness, and marriage

While developing this intensive study of transmutation, Darwin became mired in more work. Still rewriting his Journal, he took on editing and publishing the expert reports on his collections, and with Henslow's help obtained a Treasury grant of £1,000 to sponsor this multi-volume Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, a sum equivalent to about £92,000 in 2019. [82] He stretched the funding to include his planned books on geology, and agreed to unrealistic dates with the publisher. [83] As the Victorian era began, Darwin pressed on with writing his Journal, and in August 1837 began correcting printer's proofs. [84]

As Darwin worked under pressure, his health suffered. On 20 September he had "an uncomfortable palpitation of the heart", so his doctors urged him to "knock off all work" and live in the country for a few weeks. After visiting Shrewsbury he joined his Wedgwood relatives at Maer Hall, Staffordshire, but found them too eager for tales of his travels to give him much rest. His charming, intelligent, and cultured cousin Emma Wedgwood, nine months older than Darwin, was nursing his invalid aunt. His uncle Josiah pointed out an area of ground where cinders had disappeared under loam and suggested that this might have been the work of earthworms, inspiring "a new & important theory" on their role in soil formation, which Darwin presented at the Geological Society on 1 November 1837. [85]

William Whewell pushed Darwin to take on the duties of Secretary of the Geological Society. After initially declining the work, he accepted the post in March 1838. [86] Despite the grind of writing and editing the Beagle reports, Darwin made remarkable progress on transmutation, taking every opportunity to question expert naturalists and, unconventionally, people with practical experience in selective breeding such as farmers and pigeon fanciers. [13] [87] Over time, his research drew on information from his relatives and children, the family butler, neighbours, colonists and former shipmates. [88] He included mankind in his speculations from the outset, and on seeing an orangutan in the zoo on 28 March 1838 noted its childlike behaviour. [89]

The strain took a toll, and by June he was being laid up for days on end with stomach problems, headaches and heart symptoms. For the rest of his life, he was repeatedly incapacitated with episodes of stomach pains, vomiting, severe boils, palpitations, trembling and other symptoms, particularly during times of stress, such as attending meetings or making social visits. The cause of Darwin's illness remained unknown, and attempts at treatment had only ephemeral success. [90]

On 23 June, he took a break and went "geologising" in Scotland. He visited Glen Roy in glorious weather to see the parallel "roads" cut into the hillsides at three heights. He later published his view that these were marine raised beaches, but then had to accept that they were shorelines of a proglacial lake. [91]

Fully recuperated, he returned to Shrewsbury in July. Used to jotting down daily notes on animal breeding, he scrawled rambling thoughts about marriage, career and prospects on two scraps of paper, one with columns headed "Marry" and "Not Marry". Advantages under "Marry" included "constant companion and a friend in old age . better than a dog anyhow", against points such as "less money for books" and "terrible loss of time". [92] Having decided in favour of marriage, he discussed it with his father, then went to visit his cousin Emma on 29 July. He did not get around to proposing, but against his father's advice he mentioned his ideas on transmutation. [93]

Malthus and natural selection

Continuing his research in London, Darwin's wide reading now included the sixth edition of Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population, and on 28 September 1838 he noted its assertion that human "population, when unchecked, goes on doubling itself every twenty five years, or increases in a geometrical ratio", a geometric progression so that population soon exceeds food supply in what is known as a Malthusian catastrophe. Darwin was well prepared to compare this to Augustin de Candolle's "warring of the species" of plants and the struggle for existence among wildlife, explaining how numbers of a species kept roughly stable. As species always breed beyond available resources, favourable variations would make organisms better at surviving and passing the variations on to their offspring, while unfavourable variations would be lost. He wrote that the "final cause of all this wedging, must be to sort out proper structure, & adapt it to changes", so that "One may say there is a force like a hundred thousand wedges trying force into every kind of adapted structure into the gaps of in the economy of nature, or rather forming gaps by thrusting out weaker ones." [13] [94] This would result in the formation of new species. [13] [95] As he later wrote in his Autobiography:

In October 1838, that is, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic enquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. Here, then, I had at last got a theory by which to work. [96]

By mid-December, Darwin saw a similarity between farmers picking the best stock in selective breeding, and a Malthusian Nature selecting from chance variants so that "every part of newly acquired structure is fully practical and perfected", [97] thinking this comparison "a beautiful part of my theory". [98] He later called his theory natural selection, an analogy with what he termed the "artificial selection" of selective breeding. [13]

On 11 November, he returned to Maer and proposed to Emma, once more telling her his ideas. She accepted, then in exchanges of loving letters she showed how she valued his openness in sharing their differences, also expressing her strong Unitarian beliefs and concerns that his honest doubts might separate them in the afterlife. [99] While he was house-hunting in London, bouts of illness continued and Emma wrote urging him to get some rest, almost prophetically remarking "So don't be ill any more my dear Charley till I can be with you to nurse you." He found what they called "Macaw Cottage" (because of its gaudy interiors) in Gower Street, then moved his "museum" in over Christmas. On 24 January 1839, Darwin was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS). [2] [100]

On 29 January, Darwin and Emma Wedgwood were married at Maer in an Anglican ceremony arranged to suit the Unitarians, then immediately caught the train to London and their new home. [101]

Geology books, barnacles, evolutionary research

Darwin now had the framework of his theory of natural selection "by which to work", [96] as his "prime hobby". [102] His research included extensive experimental selective breeding of plants and animals, finding evidence that species were not fixed and investigating many detailed ideas to refine and substantiate his theory. [13] For fifteen years this work was in the background to his main occupation of writing on geology and publishing expert reports on the Beagle collections, and in particular, the barnacles. [103]

When FitzRoy's Narrative was published in May 1839, Darwin's Journal and Remarks was such a success as the third volume that later that year it was published on its own. [104] Early in 1842, Darwin wrote about his ideas to Charles Lyell, who noted that his ally "denies seeing a beginning to each crop of species". [105]

Darwin's book The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs on his theory of atoll formation was published in May 1842 after more than three years of work, and he then wrote his first "pencil sketch" of his theory of natural selection. [106] To escape the pressures of London, the family moved to rural Down House in September. [107] On 11 January 1844, Darwin mentioned his theorising to the botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, writing with melodramatic humour "it is like confessing a murder". [108] [109] Hooker replied "There may in my opinion have been a series of productions on different spots, & also a gradual change of species. I shall be delighted to hear how you think that this change may have taken place, as no presently conceived opinions satisfy me on the subject." [110]

By July, Darwin had expanded his "sketch" into a 230-page "Essay", to be expanded with his research results if he died prematurely. [112] In November, the anonymously published sensational best-seller Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation brought wide interest in transmutation. Darwin scorned its amateurish geology and zoology, but carefully reviewed his own arguments. Controversy erupted, and it continued to sell well despite contemptuous dismissal by scientists. [113] [114]

Darwin completed his third geological book in 1846. He now renewed a fascination and expertise in marine invertebrates, dating back to his student days with Grant, by dissecting and classifying the barnacles he had collected on the voyage, enjoying observing beautiful structures and thinking about comparisons with allied structures. [115] In 1847, Hooker read the "Essay" and sent notes that provided Darwin with the calm critical feedback that he needed, but would not commit himself and questioned Darwin's opposition to continuing acts of creation. [116]

In an attempt to improve his chronic ill health, Darwin went in 1849 to Dr. James Gully's Malvern spa and was surprised to find some benefit from hydrotherapy. [117] Then, in 1851, his treasured daughter Annie fell ill, reawakening his fears that his illness might be hereditary, and after a long series of crises she died. [118]

In eight years of work on barnacles (Cirripedia), Darwin's theory helped him to find "homologies" showing that slightly changed body parts served different functions to meet new conditions, and in some genera he found minute males parasitic on hermaphrodites, showing an intermediate stage in evolution of distinct sexes. [119] In 1853, it earned him the Royal Society's Royal Medal, and it made his reputation as a biologist. [120] In 1854 he became a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, gaining postal access to its library. [121] He began a major reassessment of his theory of species, and in November realised that divergence in the character of descendants could be explained by them becoming adapted to "diversified places in the economy of nature". [122]

Publication of the theory of natural selection

By the start of 1856, Darwin was investigating whether eggs and seeds could survive travel across seawater to spread species across oceans. Hooker increasingly doubted the traditional view that species were fixed, but their young friend Thomas Henry Huxley was still firmly against the transmutation of species. Lyell was intrigued by Darwin's speculations without realising their extent. When he read a paper by Alfred Russel Wallace, "On the Law which has Regulated the Introduction of New Species", he saw similarities with Darwin's thoughts and urged him to publish to establish precedence. Though Darwin saw no threat, on 14 May 1856 he began writing a short paper. Finding answers to difficult questions held him up repeatedly, and he expanded his plans to a "big book on species" titled Natural Selection, which was to include his "note on Man". He continued his researches, obtaining information and specimens from naturalists worldwide including Wallace who was working in Borneo. In mid-1857 he added a section heading "Theory applied to Races of Man", but did not add text on this topic. On 5 September 1857, Darwin sent the American botanist Asa Gray a detailed outline of his ideas, including an abstract of Natural Selection, which omitted human origins and sexual selection. In December, Darwin received a letter from Wallace asking if the book would examine human origins. He responded that he would avoid that subject, "so surrounded with prejudices", while encouraging Wallace's theorising and adding that "I go much further than you." [124]

Darwin's book was only partly written when, on 18 June 1858, he received a paper from Wallace describing natural selection. Shocked that he had been "forestalled", Darwin sent it on that day to Lyell, as requested by Wallace, [125] [126] and although Wallace had not asked for publication, Darwin suggested he would send it to any journal that Wallace chose. His family was in crisis with children in the village dying of scarlet fever, and he put matters in the hands of his friends. After some discussion, with no reliable way of involving Wallace, Lyell and Hooker decided on a joint presentation at the Linnean Society on 1 July of On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection. On the evening of 28 June, Darwin's baby son died of scarlet fever after almost a week of severe illness, and he was too distraught to attend. [127]

There was little immediate attention to this announcement of the theory the president of the Linnean Society remarked in May 1859 that the year had not been marked by any revolutionary discoveries. [128] Only one review rankled enough for Darwin to recall it later Professor Samuel Haughton of Dublin claimed that "all that was new in them was false, and what was true was old". [129] Darwin struggled for thirteen months to produce an abstract of his "big book", suffering from ill health but getting constant encouragement from his scientific friends. Lyell arranged to have it published by John Murray. [130]

On the Origin of Species proved unexpectedly popular, with the entire stock of 1,250 copies oversubscribed when it went on sale to booksellers on 22 November 1859. [131] In the book, Darwin set out "one long argument" of detailed observations, inferences and consideration of anticipated objections. [132] In making the case for common descent, he included evidence of homologies between humans and other mammals. [133] [III] Having outlined sexual selection, he hinted that it could explain differences between human races. [134] [IV] He avoided explicit discussion of human origins, but implied the significance of his work with the sentence "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history." [135] [IV] His theory is simply stated in the introduction:

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. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form. [136]

At the end of the book he concluded that:

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. [137]

The last word was the only variant of "evolved" in the first five editions of the book. "Evolutionism" at that time was associated with other concepts, most commonly with embryological development, and Darwin first used the word evolution in The Descent of Man in 1871, before adding it in 1872 to the 6th edition of The Origin of Species. [138]

Responses to publication

The book aroused international interest, with less controversy than had greeted the popular and less scientific Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. [140] Though Darwin's illness kept him away from the public debates, he eagerly scrutinised the scientific response, commenting on press cuttings, reviews, articles, satires and caricatures, and corresponded on it with colleagues worldwide. [141] The book did not explicitly discuss human origins, [135] [IV] but included a number of hints about the animal ancestry of humans from which the inference could be made. [142] The first review asked, "If a monkey has become a man–what may not a man become?" and said it should be left to theologians as it was too dangerous for ordinary readers. [143] Amongst early favourable responses, Huxley's reviews swiped at Richard Owen, leader of the scientific establishment Huxley was trying to overthrow. [144] In April, Owen's review attacked Darwin's friends and condescendingly dismissed his ideas, angering Darwin, [145] but Owen and others began to promote ideas of supernaturally guided evolution. Patrick Matthew drew attention to his 1831 book which had a brief appendix suggesting a concept of natural selection leading to new species, but he had not developed the idea. [146]

The Church of England's response was mixed. Darwin's old Cambridge tutors Sedgwick and Henslow dismissed the ideas, but liberal clergymen interpreted natural selection as an instrument of God's design, with the cleric Charles Kingsley seeing it as "just as noble a conception of Deity". [147] In 1860, the publication of Essays and Reviews by seven liberal Anglican theologians diverted clerical attention from Darwin, with its ideas including higher criticism attacked by church authorities as heresy. In it, Baden Powell argued that miracles broke God's laws, so belief in them was atheistic, and praised "Mr Darwin's masterly volume [supporting] the grand principle of the self-evolving powers of nature". [148] Asa Gray discussed teleology with Darwin, who imported and distributed Gray's pamphlet on theistic evolution, Natural Selection is not inconsistent with natural theology. [147] [149] The most famous confrontation was at the public 1860 Oxford evolution debate during a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, where the Bishop of Oxford Samuel Wilberforce, though not opposed to transmutation of species, argued against Darwin's explanation and human descent from apes. Joseph Hooker argued strongly for Darwin, and Thomas Huxley's legendary retort, that he would rather be descended from an ape than a man who misused his gifts, came to symbolise a triumph of science over religion. [147] [150]

Even Darwin's close friends Gray, Hooker, Huxley and Lyell still expressed various reservations but gave strong support, as did many others, particularly younger naturalists. Gray and Lyell sought reconciliation with faith, while Huxley portrayed a polarisation between religion and science. He campaigned pugnaciously against the authority of the clergy in education, [147] aiming to overturn the dominance of clergymen and aristocratic amateurs under Owen in favour of a new generation of professional scientists. Owen's claim that brain anatomy proved humans to be a separate biological order from apes was shown to be false by Huxley in a long running dispute parodied by Kingsley as the "Great Hippocampus Question", and discredited Owen. [151]

Darwinism became a movement covering a wide range of evolutionary ideas. In 1863 Lyell's Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man popularised prehistory, though his caution on evolution disappointed Darwin. Weeks later Huxley's Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature showed that anatomically, humans are apes, then The Naturalist on the River Amazons by Henry Walter Bates provided empirical evidence of natural selection. [152] Lobbying brought Darwin Britain's highest scientific honour, the Royal Society's Copley Medal, awarded on 3 November 1864. [153] That day, Huxley held the first meeting of what became the influential "X Club" devoted to "science, pure and free, untrammelled by religious dogmas". [154] By the end of the decade most scientists agreed that evolution occurred, but only a minority supported Darwin's view that the chief mechanism was natural selection. [155]

The Origin of Species was translated into many languages, becoming a staple scientific text attracting thoughtful attention from all walks of life, including the "working men" who flocked to Huxley's lectures. [156] Darwin's theory also resonated with various movements at the time [V] and became a key fixture of popular culture. [VI] Cartoonists parodied animal ancestry in an old tradition of showing humans with animal traits, and in Britain these droll images served to popularise Darwin's theory in an unthreatening way. While ill in 1862 Darwin began growing a beard, and when he reappeared in public in 1866 caricatures of him as an ape helped to identify all forms of evolutionism with Darwinism. [139]

Descent of Man, sexual selection, and botany

Despite repeated bouts of illness during the last twenty-two years of his life, Darwin's work continued. Having published On the Origin of Species as an abstract of his theory, he pressed on with experiments, research, and writing of his "big book". He covered human descent from earlier animals including evolution of society and of mental abilities, as well as explaining decorative beauty in wildlife and diversifying into innovative plant studies.

Enquiries about insect pollination led in 1861 to novel studies of wild orchids, showing adaptation of their flowers to attract specific moths to each species and ensure cross fertilisation. In 1862 Fertilisation of Orchids gave his first detailed demonstration of the power of natural selection to explain complex ecological relationships, making testable predictions. As his health declined, he lay on his sickbed in a room filled with inventive experiments to trace the movements of climbing plants. [157] Admiring visitors included Ernst Haeckel, a zealous proponent of Darwinismus incorporating Lamarckism and Goethe's idealism. [158] Wallace remained supportive, though he increasingly turned to Spiritualism. [159]

Darwin's book The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication (1868) was the first part of his planned "big book", and included his unsuccessful hypothesis of pangenesis attempting to explain heredity. It sold briskly at first, despite its size, and was translated into many languages. He wrote most of a second part, on natural selection, but it remained unpublished in his lifetime. [160]

Lyell had already popularised human prehistory, and Huxley had shown that anatomically humans are apes. [152] With The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex published in 1871, Darwin set out evidence from numerous sources that humans are animals, showing continuity of physical and mental attributes, and presented sexual selection to explain impractical animal features such as the peacock's plumage as well as human evolution of culture, differences between sexes, and physical and cultural racial classification, while emphasising that humans are all one species. [161] His research using images was expanded in his 1872 book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, one of the first books to feature printed photographs, which discussed the evolution of human psychology and its continuity with the behaviour of animals. Both books proved very popular, and Darwin was impressed by the general assent with which his views had been received, remarking that "everybody is talking about it without being shocked." [162] His conclusion was "that man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system—with all these exalted powers—Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." [163]

His evolution-related experiments and investigations led to books on orchids, Insectivorous Plants, The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom, different forms of flowers on plants of the same species, and The Power of Movement in Plants. He continued to collect information and exchange views from scientific correspondents all over the world, including Mary Treat, whom he encouraged to persevere in her scientific work. [164] His botanical work [IX] was interpreted and popularised by various writers including Grant Allen and H. G. Wells, and helped transform plant science in the late 19th century and early 20th century. In his last book he returned to The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms.

Death and funeral

In 1882 he was diagnosed with what was called "angina pectoris" which then meant coronary thrombosis and disease of the heart. At the time of his death, the physicians diagnosed "anginal attacks", and "heart-failure". [165] It has been speculated that Darwin may have suffered from chronic Chagas disease. [166] This speculation is based on a journal entry written by Darwin, describing he was bitten by the "Kissing Bug" in Mendoza, Argentina, in 1835 [167] and based on the constellation of clinical symptoms he exhibited, including cardiac disease which is a hallmark of chronic Chagas disease. [168] [166] Exhuming Darwin's body would probably be necessary to definitively determine his state of infection by detecting DNA of infecting parasite, T. cruzi, that causes Chagas disease. [166] [167]

He died at Down House on 19 April 1882. His last words were to his family, telling Emma "I am not the least afraid of death—Remember what a good wife you have been to me—Tell all my children to remember how good they have been to me", then while she rested, he repeatedly told Henrietta and Francis "It's almost worth while to be sick to be nursed by you". [169] He had expected to be buried in St Mary's churchyard at Downe, but at the request of Darwin's colleagues, after public and parliamentary petitioning, William Spottiswoode (President of the Royal Society) arranged for Darwin to be honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey, close to John Herschel and Isaac Newton. The funeral was held on Wednesday 26 April and was attended by thousands of people, including family, friends, scientists, philosophers and dignitaries. [170] [10]

By the time of his death, Darwin and his colleagues had convinced most scientists that evolution as descent with modification was correct, and he was regarded as a great scientist who had revolutionised ideas. In June 1909, though few at that time agreed with his view that "natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification", he was honoured by more than 400 officials and scientists from across the world who met in Cambridge to commemorate his centenary and the fiftieth anniversary of On the Origin of Species. [171] Around the beginning of the 20th century, a period that has been called "the eclipse of Darwinism", scientists proposed various alternative evolutionary mechanisms, which eventually proved untenable. Ronald Fisher, an English statistician, finally united Mendelian genetics with natural selection, in the period between 1918 and his 1930 book The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. [172] He gave the theory a mathematical footing and brought broad scientific consensus that natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution, thus founding the basis for population genetics and the modern evolutionary synthesis, with J.B.S. Haldane and Sewall Wright, which set the frame of reference for modern debates and refinements of the theory. [14]


During Darwin's lifetime, many geographical features were given his name. An expanse of water adjoining the Beagle Channel was named Darwin Sound by Robert FitzRoy after Darwin's prompt action, along with two or three of the men, saved them from being marooned on a nearby shore when a collapsing glacier caused a large wave that would have swept away their boats, [173] and the nearby Mount Darwin in the Andes was named in celebration of Darwin's 25th birthday. [174] When the Beagle was surveying Australia in 1839, Darwin's friend John Lort Stokes sighted a natural harbour which the ship's captain Wickham named Port Darwin: a nearby settlement was renamed Darwin in 1911, and it became the capital city of Australia's Northern Territory. [175]

Stephen Heard identified 389 species that have been named after Darwin, [176] and there are at least 9 genera. [177] In one example, the group of tanagers related to those Darwin found in the Galápagos Islands became popularly known as "Darwin's finches" in 1947, fostering inaccurate legends about their significance to his work. [178]

Darwin's work has continued to be celebrated by numerous publications and events. The Linnean Society of London has commemorated Darwin's achievements by the award of the Darwin–Wallace Medal since 1908. Darwin Day has become an annual celebration, and in 2009 worldwide events were arranged for the bicentenary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. [179]

Darwin has been commemorated in the UK, with his portrait printed on the reverse of £10 banknotes printed along with a hummingbird and HMS Beagle, issued by the Bank of England. [180]

A life-size seated statue of Darwin can be seen in the main hall of the Natural History Museum in London. [181]

A seated statue of Darwin, unveiled 1897, stands in front of Shrewsbury Library, the building that used to house Shrewsbury School, which Darwin attended as a boy. Another statue of Darwin as a young man is situated in the grounds of Christ's College, Cambridge.

Darwin College, a postgraduate college at Cambridge University, is named after the Darwin family. [182]

In 2008–09, the Swedish band The Knife, in collaboration with Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma and other musicians from Denmark, Sweden and the US, created an opera about the life of Darwin, and The Origin of Species, entitled Tomorrow, in a Year. The show toured European theatres in 2010.

William Erasmus 27 December 1839 – 8 September 1914
Anne Elizabeth 2 March 1841 – 23 April 1851
Mary Eleanor 23 September 1842 – 16 October 1842
Henrietta Emma 25 September 1843 – 17 December 1927
George Howard 9 July 1845 – 7 December 1912
Elizabeth 8 July 1847 – 8 June 1926
Francis 16 August 1848 – 19 September 1925
Leonard 15 January 1850 – 26 March 1943
Horace 13 May 1851 – 29 September 1928
Charles 6 December 1856 – 28 June 1858

The Darwins had ten children: two died in infancy, and Annie's death at the age of ten had a devastating effect on her parents. Charles was a devoted father and uncommonly attentive to his children. [17] Whenever they fell ill, he feared that they might have inherited weaknesses from inbreeding due to the close family ties he shared with his wife and cousin, Emma Wedgwood.

He examined inbreeding in his writings, contrasting it with the advantages of outcrossing in many species. [183] Despite his fears, most of the surviving children and many of their descendants went on to have distinguished careers.

Of his surviving children, George, Francis and Horace became Fellows of the Royal Society, [184] distinguished as astronomer, [185] botanist and civil engineer, respectively. All three were knighted. [186] Another son, Leonard, went on to be a soldier, politician, economist, eugenicist and mentor of the statistician and evolutionary biologist Ronald Fisher. [187]

Religious views

Darwin's family tradition was nonconformist Unitarianism, while his father and grandfather were freethinkers, and his baptism and boarding school were Church of England. [27] When going to Cambridge to become an Anglican clergyman, he did not "in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible". [36] He learned John Herschel's science which, like William Paley's natural theology, sought explanations in laws of nature rather than miracles and saw adaptation of species as evidence of design. [38] [39] On board HMS Beagle, Darwin was quite orthodox and would quote the Bible as an authority on morality. [189] He looked for "centres of creation" to explain distribution, [62] and suggested that the very similar antlions found in Australia and England were evidence of a divine hand. [64]

By his return, he was critical of the Bible as history, and wondered why all religions should not be equally valid. [189] In the next few years, while intensively speculating on geology and the transmutation of species, he gave much thought to religion and openly discussed this with his wife Emma, whose beliefs also came from intensive study and questioning. [99] The theodicy of Paley and Thomas Malthus vindicated evils such as starvation as a result of a benevolent creator's laws, which had an overall good effect. To Darwin, natural selection produced the good of adaptation but removed the need for design, [190] and he could not see the work of an omnipotent deity in all the pain and suffering, such as the ichneumon wasp paralysing caterpillars as live food for its eggs. [149] Though he thought of religion as a tribal survival strategy, Darwin was reluctant to give up the idea of God as an ultimate lawgiver. He was increasingly troubled by the problem of evil. [191] [192]

Darwin remained close friends with the vicar of Downe, John Brodie Innes, and continued to play a leading part in the parish work of the church, [193] but from around 1849 would go for a walk on Sundays while his family attended church. [188] He considered it "absurd to doubt that a man might be an ardent theist and an evolutionist" [194] [195] and, though reticent about his religious views, in 1879 he wrote that "I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. – I think that generally . an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind". [99] [194]

The "Lady Hope Story", published in 1915, claimed that Darwin had reverted to Christianity on his sickbed. The claims were repudiated by Darwin's children and have been dismissed as false by historians. [196]

Human society

Darwin's views on social and political issues reflected his time and social position. He grew up in a family of Whig reformers who, like his uncle Josiah Wedgwood, supported electoral reform and the emancipation of slaves. Darwin was passionately opposed to slavery, while seeing no problem with the working conditions of English factory workers or servants. His taxidermy lessons in 1826 from the freed slave John Edmonstone, whom he long recalled as "a very pleasant and intelligent man", reinforced his belief that black people shared the same feelings, and could be as intelligent as people of other races. He took the same attitude to native people he met on the Beagle voyage. [197] These attitudes were not unusual in Britain in the 1820s, much as it shocked visiting Americans. British society started to envisage racial differences more vividly in mid-century, [28] but Darwin remained strongly against slavery, against "ranking the so-called races of man as distinct species", and against ill-treatment of native people. [198] [VII] Darwin's interaction with Yaghans (Fuegians) such as Jemmy Button during the second voyage of HMS Beagle had a profound impact on his view of indigenous peoples. At his arrival to Tierra del Fuego he made a colourful description of "Fuegian savages". [199] This view changed as he came to know Yaghan people more in detail. By studying the Yaghans, Darwin concluded that a number of basic emotions by different human groups were the same and that mental capabilities were roughly the same as for Europeans. [199] While interested in Yaghan culture Darwin failed to appreciate their deep ecological knowledge and elaborate cosmology until the 1850s when he inspected a dictionary of Yaghan detailing 32,000 words. [199] He saw that European colonisation would often lead to the extinction of native civilisations, and "tr[ied] to integrate colonialism into an evolutionary history of civilization analogous to natural history". [200]

He thought men's eminence over women was the outcome of sexual selection, a view disputed by Antoinette Brown Blackwell in her 1875 book The Sexes Throughout Nature. [201]

Darwin was intrigued by his half-cousin Francis Galton's argument, introduced in 1865, that statistical analysis of heredity showed that moral and mental human traits could be inherited, and principles of animal breeding could apply to humans. In The Descent of Man, Darwin noted that aiding the weak to survive and have families could lose the benefits of natural selection, but cautioned that withholding such aid would endanger the instinct of sympathy, "the noblest part of our nature", and factors such as education could be more important. When Galton suggested that publishing research could encourage intermarriage within a "caste" of "those who are naturally gifted", Darwin foresaw practical difficulties, and thought it "the sole feasible, yet I fear utopian, plan of procedure in improving the human race", preferring to simply publicise the importance of inheritance and leave decisions to individuals. [202] Francis Galton named this field of study "eugenics" in 1883. [VIII] After Darwin's death, his theories were cited to promote eugenic policies. [200]

Darwin's fame and popularity led to his name being associated with ideas and movements that, at times, had only an indirect relation to his writings, and sometimes went directly against his express comments.

Thomas Malthus had argued that population growth beyond resources was ordained by God to get humans to work productively and show restraint in getting families this was used in the 1830s to justify workhouses and laissez-faire economics. [203] Evolution was by then seen as having social implications, and Herbert Spencer's 1851 book Social Statics based ideas of human freedom and individual liberties on his Lamarckian evolutionary theory. [204]

Soon after the Origin was published in 1859, critics derided his description of a struggle for existence as a Malthusian justification for the English industrial capitalism of the time. The term Darwinism was used for the evolutionary ideas of others, including Spencer's "survival of the fittest" as free-market progress, and Ernst Haeckel's polygenistic ideas of human development. Writers used natural selection to argue for various, often contradictory, ideologies such as laissez-faire dog-eat-dog capitalism, colonialism and imperialism. However, Darwin's holistic view of nature included "dependence of one being on another" thus pacifists, socialists, liberal social reformers and anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin stressed the value of co-operation over struggle within a species. [205] Darwin himself insisted that social policy should not simply be guided by concepts of struggle and selection in nature. [206]

After the 1880s, a eugenics movement developed on ideas of biological inheritance, and for scientific justification of their ideas appealed to some concepts of Darwinism. In Britain, most shared Darwin's cautious views on voluntary improvement and sought to encourage those with good traits in "positive eugenics". During the "Eclipse of Darwinism", a scientific foundation for eugenics was provided by Mendelian genetics. Negative eugenics to remove the "feebleminded" were popular in America, Canada and Australia, and eugenics in the United States introduced compulsory sterilisation laws, followed by several other countries. Subsequently, Nazi eugenics brought the field into disrepute. [VIII]

The term "Social Darwinism" was used infrequently from around the 1890s, but became popular as a derogatory term in the 1940s when used by Richard Hofstadter to attack the laissez-faire conservatism of those like William Graham Sumner who opposed reform and socialism. Since then, it has been used as a term of abuse by those opposed to what they think are the moral consequences of evolution. [207] [203]

Darwin was a prolific writer. Even without publication of his works on evolution, he would have had a considerable reputation as the author of The Voyage of the Beagle, as a geologist who had published extensively on South America and had solved the puzzle of the formation of coral atolls, and as a biologist who had published the definitive work on barnacles. While On the Origin of Species dominates perceptions of his work, The Descent of Man and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals had considerable impact, and his books on plants including The Power of Movement in Plants were innovative studies of great importance, as was his final work on The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms. [208] [209]

I . ^ Darwin was eminent as a naturalist, geologist, biologist, and author. After a summer as a physician's assistant (helping his father) and two years as a medical student, he went to Cambridge for the ordinary degree to qualify as a clergyman he was also trained in taxidermy. [210]

II . ^ Robert FitzRoy was to become known after the voyage for biblical literalism, but at this time he had considerable interest in Lyell's ideas, and they met before the voyage when Lyell asked for observations to be made in South America. FitzRoy's diary during the ascent of the River Santa Cruz in Patagonia recorded his opinion that the plains were raised beaches, but on return, newly married to a very religious lady, he recanted these ideas.(Browne 1995, pp. 186, 414)

III . ^ In the section "Morphology" of Chapter XIII of On the Origin of Species, Darwin commented on homologous bone patterns between humans and other mammals, writing: "What can be more curious than that the hand of a man, formed for grasping, that of a mole for digging, the leg of the horse, the paddle of the porpoise, and the wing of the bat, should all be constructed on the same pattern, and should include the same bones, in the same relative positions?" [211] and in the concluding chapter: "The framework of bones being the same in the hand of a man, wing of a bat, fin of the porpoise, and leg of the horse … at once explain themselves on the theory of descent with slow and slight successive modifications." [212]

IV . 1 2 3 In On the Origin of Species Darwin mentioned human origins in his concluding remark that "In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history." [135]

In "Chapter VI: Difficulties on Theory" he referred to sexual selection: "I might have adduced for this same purpose the differences between the races of man, which are so strongly marked I may add that some little light can apparently be thrown on the origin of these differences, chiefly through sexual selection of a particular kind, but without here entering on copious details my reasoning would appear frivolous." [134]

In The Descent of Man of 1871, Darwin discussed the first passage: "During many years I collected notes on the origin or descent of man, without any intention of publishing on the subject, but rather with the determination not to publish, as I thought that I should thus only add to the prejudices against my views. It seemed to me sufficient to indicate, in the first edition of my 'Origin of Species,' that by this work 'light would be thrown on the origin of man and his history' and this implies that man must be included with other organic beings in any general conclusion respecting his manner of appearance on this earth." [213] In a preface to the 1874 second edition, he added a reference to the second point: "it has been said by several critics, that when I found that many details of structure in man could not be explained through natural selection, I invented sexual selection I gave, however, a tolerably clear sketch of this principle in the first edition of the 'Origin of Species,' and I there stated that it was applicable to man." [214]

V . ^ See, for example, WILLA volume 4, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Feminization of Education by Deborah M. De Simone: "Gilman shared many basic educational ideas with the generation of thinkers who matured during the period of "intellectual chaos" caused by Darwin's Origin of the Species. Marked by the belief that individuals can direct human and social evolution, many progressives came to view education as the panacea for advancing social progress and for solving such problems as urbanisation, poverty, or immigration."

VI . ^ See, for example, the song "A lady fair of lineage high" from Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida, which describes the descent of man (but not woman!) from apes.

VII . ^ Darwin's belief that black people had the same essential humanity as Europeans, and had many mental similarities, was reinforced by the lessons he had from John Edmonstone in 1826. [28] Early in the Beagle voyage, Darwin nearly lost his position on the ship when he criticised FitzRoy's defence and praise of slavery. (Darwin 1958, p. 74) He wrote home about "how steadily the general feeling, as shown at elections, has been rising against Slavery. What a proud thing for England if she is the first European nation which utterly abolishes it! I was told before leaving England that after living in slave countries all my opinions would be altered the only alteration I am aware of is forming a much higher estimate of the negro character." (Darwin 1887, p. 246) Regarding Fuegians, he "could not have believed how wide was the difference between savage and civilized man: it is greater than between a wild and domesticated animal, inasmuch as in man there is a greater power of improvement", but he knew and liked civilised Fuegians like Jemmy Button: "It seems yet wonderful to me, when I think over all his many good qualities, that he should have been of the same race, and doubtless partaken of the same character, with the miserable, degraded savages whom we first met here."(Darwin 1845, pp. 205, 207–208)

In the Descent of Man, he mentioned the similarity of Fuegians' and Edmonstone's minds to Europeans' when arguing against "ranking the so-called races of man as distinct species". [215]

He rejected the ill-treatment of native people, and for example wrote of massacres of Patagonian men, women, and children, "Every one here is fully convinced that this is the most just war, because it is against barbarians. Who would believe in this age that such atrocities could be committed in a Christian civilized country?"(Darwin 1845, p. 102)

IX . ^ David Quammen writes of his "theory that [Darwin] turned to these arcane botanical studies – producing more than one book that was solidly empirical, discreetly evolutionary, yet a 'horrid bore' – at least partly so that the clamorous controversialists, fighting about apes and angels and souls, would leave him. alone". David Quammen, "The Brilliant Plodder" (review of Ken Thompson, Darwin's Most Wonderful Plants: A Tour of His Botanical Legacy, University of Chicago Press, 255 pp. Elizabeth Hennessy, On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galápagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden, Yale University Press, 310 pp. Bill Jenkins, Evolution Before Darwin: Theories of the Transmutation of Species in Edinburgh, 1804–1834, Edinburgh University Press, 222 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVII, no. 7 (23 April 2020), pp. 22–24. Quammen, quoted from p. 24 of his review.

5. Summary and Conclusion

The historiography adopted in this article rejects a simple linear story of the development of Darwinian theory as a history of increasingly true theories leading to a present consensus. Instead it favors a more complicated &ldquocompeting research programs&rdquo analysis (Lakatos 1970), programs which through historical competition have resulted in more adequate accounts of the relation of living beings to historical time and naturalistic processes, but which show repeated historical competition with one another .

More general philosophical issues associated with evolutionary theory&mdashthose surrounding natural teleology, ethics, the relation of evolutionary naturalism to the claims of religious traditions, the implications for the relation of human beings to the rest of the organic world&mdashcontinue as issues of scholarly inquiry. If contemporary neo-selectionist evolutionary theory displays continuity with select features of the theories of Darwin, alternative interpretations, such as the current movement known as evolutionary developmental theory or &ldquoevo-devo&rdquo, mark a return to presumably discarded traditions of the nineteenth and twentieth century that considered it essential to link evolution with embryonic development and with the effects of external conditions on inheritance (Gilbert 2015 Newman 2015 Laubichler & Maienschein 2013, [eds] 2007 Gissis & Jablonka [eds] 2011 Pigliucci & Müller [eds] 2010 Amundson 2005 Gilbert, Opitz, & Raff 1996). Such developments suggest that there are still substantial theoretical issues at stake that may alter the future understanding of evolutionary theory in important ways (Sloan, McKenny, & Eggleson [eds] 2015).