Evolution Theory Charles Darwin is best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. It was his theory that all species of life descended over time from common ancestors in a process that he called natural selection. He was an English naturalist and a geologist. He studied medicine and the University of Edinburgh. He also studied at the University of Cambridge which encouraged his passion for natural science as he helped to investigate marine invertebrates.
In 1831, a 22 year old Darwin became a passenger aboard a ship called the Beagle. The Beagle had sailed for several years before Darwin came into the picture, but it is remembered today because of his association with it. The Beagle was a warship which carried ten cannons. Its first voyage was to explore the coastline of South America. Its second voyage was to circumnavigate the globe and conduct explorations along the South American coastline and across the South Pacific. The captain came up with the idea to bring along someone with a scientific background who could explore and record observations; and Darwin was invited to sail aboard the H.M.S. Beagle in 1831.
The Beagle left England on December 27, 1831 and reached the Canary Islands in early January then continued on to South America. After this, the Beagle reached the Galapagos Islands. The Beagle left the Galapagos and arrived in Tahiti in November 1835. The ship then went to New Zealand, Australia, and the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa then back to the Atlantic Ocean. The Beagle also reached a British outpost in the South Atlantic then sailed back to the coast of South America before returning to England finally arriving at Falmouth on October 2, 1836. The entire voyage had taken almost five years.
Darwin spent most of that time on land investigating geology and making natural history collections. The Beagle’s main mission was to survey and chart the coasts. Darwin kept careful notes of his speculations and observations and at intervals during the voyage his specimens were sent to Cambridge together with his notes expert appraisal. Darwin had some expertise in geology, but in most areas was a novice zoologist. During his treks he dug for bones and fossils. He was fascinated by oddities like volcanic rocks and giant tortoises. He collected samples and explored coral reefs.
Darwin’s observations and interest in nature established him as an eminent geologist. He was puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and all the fossils he had collected. With very detailed investigations in 1838 he conceived his theory of natural selection. As he was writing up his theory he was sent an essay by Alfred Russel Wallace which described the same idea he had. That then prompted a joint publication of both of their theories. Charles Darwin’s work established evolutionary decent as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature.
The beginning of the earth has been a mystery, boggling the minds of the erudite and the simple minded alike for years. The topic of creation vs. evolution has become increasingly controversial. In biology, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a change in the genetic material of a population of organisms from one generation to the next. Though changes produced in any one generation are normally small, differences accumulate with each generation and can, over time, become substantial changes in the population. Such similarities among species suggest that all known species are descended from a common ancestor (or ancestral gene pools process of gradual divergence). Evolution is supported in many different ways, but one major category pointing to its validity is fossils. Through fossil dating, hominoid fossils, and, evolution has become the theory accepted by the majority of those in the scientific forefront.
Can a person believe in both, Darwinism and religion, at the same