Charles Robert Darwin, pioneer of evolutionism put forward the doctrine of biological evolution, which destroys all kinds of idealistic theology and species invariance.
Long before Darwin, many scientists expressed themselves on the a gradual and continuous change in all species of plants and animals, but it was Darwin who put forward a completely new hypothesis regarding living nature, generalizing individual evolutionary ideas into one, the so-called theory of evolution, which was the most widely spread in the world.
Darwin suggested that in competition among animal populations, only those will survive that have properties of benefits under given specific conditions, allowing producing offspring as well. His theory is based on three principles: a) heredity and variability; b) the struggle for existence; c) natural selection.
Variability is an inalienable attribute of all living things. Despite the similarity of living organisms of the same species, two completely identical individuals cannot be found within the population. This variation of features and properties creates the advantage of some organisms over others.
A certain variability, or adaptive modification, is the ability of individuals of one species to react in an identical way to changes in the environment. Such group changes are not inherited, so they can not supply material for evolution..
The core principle of natural selection has the following implications: Organisms have a tendency to overproduce while living space and food are limited, so that creatures must “fight for survival.” Variants exist in individuals within the same population, and individuals with favorable variations that adapt to the environment will survive and multiply offspring, while individuals without favorable variability will be eliminated. His natural selection principle is based on the prevailing “amalgamation genetic” hypothesis at that time
Darwin built all the provisions of his theory of evolution, based on the principles of logic and the results of his own experiments. Here are the main theses of his work:
– Due to a combination of accidents, some animals get such traits that help them to better adapt to the surrounding nature;
– The more the animal is adapted to the environment, the more likely it is to survive;
– The ability of the most advanced animals to adapt to surrounding circumstances and the destruction of weak and unadapted Darwin called the principle of natural selection.
Publication of works
The theory of the origin of the species of Charles Darwin was formed already in 1838, but was published only after twenty-one years and under rather controversial circumstances. Simultaneously with Darwin, the development of the new theory was also carried out by A. Wallace, who came to the same conclusions regarding the development of species. Both naturalists were influenced by the works of T.Maltus and C.Lejel, popular at that time, because Charles sent both works and travel notes for simultaneous reading at a meeting of scientists in London.
Darwin’s book, which was completed ahead of time due to the appearance of a sudden competitor in the face of Wallace, was initially met with resentment from conservative naturalists and theologians. However, the subsequent success of the work consisted of a large number of scientific facts collected by experience, so the book became a bestseller – the first circulation of 1,250 copies was redeemed on the day of publication, and translations into eleven foreign languages were published even during the life of the scientist.