Charles Darwin Essay examples

Submitted By EliasAminov
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Charles Darwin (February 12, 1809-April 19, 1882) is known for many things, such as his evolutionary theories. Darwin is also known for being part of the 5-year voyage on the HMS Beagle. (2) The ship was to survey the east and west coasts of South America and to continue to the Pacific islands. The beagle left on December 27, 1831. About 1800 miles southwest of the Canary Islands the Beagle visited Sao Taiga, a volcanic island. (3)Darwin had seen a band of white rock extending at 45 feet above the base of the sea cliffs. He realized the surface had been formed by a succession of volcanic events but none had been dramatic. He discovered an initial subsidence settling around the original craters, building up form new lava spills from different craters building up over a long period of time. Later, when Darwin crossed the Andes 1835, he found fossil shells at an elevation of 12000 feet. Darwin theorized that a chain of sub oceanic volcanoes had spilled large quantities of lava that formed the Andes through the process of upheaval and fracturing. While Darwin was still on the voyage he challenges Charles Lyle’s view of the formation of coral reefs by volcanic action. Darwin had argued that reeds were part of a process of gradual changes in the earths crust resulting from the substance of landmasses and corresponding elevations some place elsewhere.(4) He explained that coral forms a reef by building up on the floor as the floor subsides. Many rocks Darwin examined contained fossils within them. He constantly found evidence of extinct species and the similarities of them to living species. For example, in South America Darwin found fossils of extinct armadillos that were similar but not identical to the living animals. Darwin had also found that the finishes he brought form the Galapagos Islands belonged to different species. Before this, originally he didn’t believe that they were different varieties. He also learned that mockingbirds were of 3 distinct species. He also learned that the Galapagos tortoises represented at least 2 similar species and that they were native to the islands but not to any of the American continents. In March 1837 Darwin had written in his notebook that species changed form one place to another or form one era to the next. Darwin saw competition between individuals of a single species. He noticed that within a local population for example, the individual with the sharper beak or brighter feathers have a better chance to reproduce and survive then the other individuals. If traits with great advantages were passed onto the next generation, they would eventually become dominant in the future populations. After this Darwin shifted the focus of evolutionary analysis from between to within species. Darwin saw natural selection as a mechanism, which acts to preserve and accumulate mild advantageous genetic mutations.(4) Their offspring would inherit the the advantages and pass it on to their off spring. On the other hand the disadvantaged members would gradually die out or be eliminated. After Darwin’s natural selection he stepped up his inquiries to plant and animal breeders. He wanted to learn form their experience with artificial selection to figure out how natural selection works. The problem was that the evolutionary development of these dissimilar characteristics is related to species that descended form a single organic ancestor. Just like Darwin experienced on his voyage, divergent species appeared on different landmasses. The theory of evolution of species (all life is related and has descended from one common ancestor) solved many questions. Darwin’s theory rooted in direct observation and an attempt to discover universal laws. (1) Another thing Darwin is known for is rejecting the fact that animals perfectly adapt to their environment. Darwin had also introduced that members of a given species differ from their siblings. He thought it was a competition within a species leading to survival of