Charles Darwin and University courses | Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by natural selection

Charles Darwin and University courses

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin!

Three quarter length studio photo showing Darwin's characteristic large forehead and bushy eyebrows with deep set eyes, pug nose and mouth set in a determined look. He is bald on top, with dark hair and long side whiskers but no beard or moustache. His jacket is dark, with very wide lapels, and his trousers are a light check pattern. His shirt has an upright wing collar, and his cravat is tucked into his waistcoat which is a light fine checked pattern.Guest post from Dr John Holmes, Associate Professor in English Literature at the University of Reading, to celebrate Darwin Day: a global celebration of science and reason held on the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin!

Today is International Darwin Day, held every year to celebrate the birthday of Charles Darwin (he would be 205 today!). It is hard to exaggerate Darwin’s impact on science. In his seminal book On the Origin of Species (1859), Darwin showed for the first time that all living things were related to one another in a great tree of life. For Darwin, the variety of life of earth depended on two main principles: descent with modification, and the struggle to survive. The result was natural selection, as those creatures which were best placed to survive and reproduce passed on their particular advantages to their descendants. As the conditions of life changed, so the populations of different species would inevitably evolve.

Darwin’s work became the foundation of biology and ecology as we know them today. But he also transformed how we think about ourselves. Darwin showed that we have no grounds to believe that we have a special place in nature. Our intelligence, our society, our love of beauty, even our morality, can all ultimately be traced back to natural selection. Darwin explained the origins of our humanity, but he did not explain it away. Scientists and scholars who think that, because we evolved, evolution can account for everything about us, from computer games to Jane Austen, are under an illusion. But Darwin did transform what it means to be human, stripping away our vanities and placing us firmly within the ecology of nature as a whole.

Because Darwin changed what it means to be human, he matters to the humanities almost as much as he does to the sciences. It is not just that is one of the most beautifully written and sustained arguments in English—a great book, in other words, in its own right. The novels of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy, the science fiction of H. G. Wells, the plays of Strindberg and Shaw, all bear the imprint of Darwin’s work. In writing my own book Darwin’s Bards, I found that British and American poets too had been wrestling with the implications of the Darwinian condition for the last hundred and fifty years.

Darwin’s scientific research precipitated the most profound shift in our understanding of ourselves that has ever taken place. It is no surprise, then, that it transformed literature and culture too. To read more about how literature in particular has engaged with Darwin and Darwinism. In the meantime, I hope you’ll join me in wishing the old man a very happy birthday!




Science and Belief - From Darwin to Einstein: The Future of Science and Belief - Theological Views in the Twentieth Century Unit 15 (Course A381)
Book (Open University Press)

Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

by Ed_Blackmail

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Home-school mom Susan Mule wishes she hadn't taken a friend's advice and tried a textbook from a popular Christian publisher for her 10-year-old's biology lessons.
Mule's precocious daughter Elizabeth excels at science and has been studying tarantulas since she was 5. But she watched Elizabeth's excitement turn to confusion when they reached the evolution section of the book from Apologia Educational Ministries, which disputed Charles Darwin's theory.
"I thought she was going to have a coronary," Mule said of her daughter, who is now 16 and taking college courses in Houston

Bird brainiacs: The genius of pigeons  — New Scientist
Before a visit from his friend the geologist Charles Lyell, Darwin wrote: "I will show you my pigeons! Which is the greatest treat, in my opinion, which ..

FAQ

Chantal
Charles Darwin?

During Darwin's 5 year voyage what were his main conclusions with indications of what he saw and what led him to conclude, using the following terms: homologous, vestigial, analogous, island biogeography, artificial and natural selection.
I need a GOOD darwin site or book (that i can find at the library)

Charles Robert Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) is famed as the eminent English naturalist[I] who presented a mass of evidence which persuaded the scientific community that species develop over time from a common origin. His theories explaining this phenomenon through natural and sexual selection are central to the modern understanding of evolution as the unifying theory of the life sciences, essential in biology and important in other disciplines such as anthropology, psychology and philosophy.[1]

Darwin developed his interest in natural history while studying…

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