Origin Of Species, Charles Darwin | Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by natural selection

Origin Of Species, Charles Darwin

On the Origin of Species book

First evolutionary tree sketched by Darwin in 1837First evolutionary tree sketched by Darwin beneath the words 'I think' in 1837. © Cambridge University Library

Controversial bestseller

On the Origin of species explained how new species evolve. Tiny variations between individuals can give one or the other a competitive advantage, Darwin argued. Generation after generation those tiny advantages are passed down, or selected, until the species eventually changes.

It sounds simple to us now, but when the book was published in 1859 it was truly radical. Then, most people believed God had designed all living things. Suggesting otherwise went against everything they thought they knew.

Not surprisingly, On the Origin of Species sparked a global debate among scientists and the public. The book sold out on the day it was published.

Caricature of Darwin in Punch magazine, 1882Darwin faced years of controversy after publishing his theory of evolution. This 1882 caricature in Punch magazine is titled 'Man is but a worm'. © Punch Limited / Science Photo Library

Change of plan

Darwin had not intended to publish as early as he did. After spending 20 years working on his theory, agonising over every detail, he had finally persuaded himself to publish his thoughts in a weighty academic book called Natural Selection. But this work was cut short in 1858 when it seemed as if he'd been beaten to it.

Darwin received a letter from Alfred Russel Wallace outlining exactly the same theory. Colleagues advised him to submit a joint presentation to the Linnean Society. This was read at a meeting on . Neither man was present as Darwin was grieving over the death of his son and Wallace was on an expedition in remote Indonesia.

The public airing of his theory spurred Darwin to press ahead with publication of his work and on he published a short version of his book. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. He created 5 updated editions in his lifetime.

Japanese translation of On the Origin of Species, Shu No Kigen, published in 1914 as a 5-volume pocket-sized edition.

Global phenomenon

Darwin was keen for his ideas to reach as many people as possible and for his books to be read in many different languages. Part of its success may have been down to the conversational rather than academic writing style.

Retiring at 82: You've got to like your work

— ABC Local
She's spent the last 20 years working as a lecturer in horticulture at Charles Darwin University. "You've to like your work," says Mrs Hagan when asked why she kept working long after she could have put her feet up. "I like the students, the students ..

Uni ratings' big tick

— The Australian Financial Review
.. the University of Wollongong, Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney, the University of South Australia, Deakin University, Murdoch University, Charles Darwin University, Curtin University of Technology, Flinders University, Griffith ..

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Origin of Species Charles Darwin
Book (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

Sugar glider moves around the family tree

— ABC Online
Thought for more than 150 years to be a subspecies of sugar glider, researchers based at Charles Darwin University in Darwin have recently found it more closely resembles two other species of glider, and they speculate that it may even represent an ..


Can you answer Charles Darwin Trivia Quiz?

Do you know the answer to any of these questions?????
1) Charles’s Wife, Emma, was a keen and accomplished pianist. From whom did she once receive piano lessons?
A) Fryderyk Chopin
B) Hector Berlioz
C) Franz Liszt

2) When Charles and Emma were first married, they lived in a house in Gower Street, London (now the site of a UCL biology building). What was their nickname for the house?
A) Maer Mansions
B) Macaw Cottage
C) The Boxrooms

3) Which of the following people was NOT left handed?
A) Erasmus Darwin (Charles's grandfather)

1. A (from Chopin in Paris)
B - Finches
5. C - The Princess and the Goblin
A - Walter Crick
"Crick replied with not only the answers, but also the beetle and the shell. Both arrived alive, so Darwin put the "wretched" insect in a bottle with chopped ..."
10. B - Australia
"Charles Darwin: The Voyage of the Beagle: Chapter XIX: Australia. ... and he who thinks with me will never wish to walk again in so uninviting a country"
15. Joseph Parslow
" Darwin's family home. Down House in Kent provided Charles Darwin with a ... black…

Sebastian Vargas
Can you find the answers the this quiz (mostly basic historic, literary, and scientific trivia)?

A recent survey said that most teenagers living in the US or Europe should be able to get at least 12 of these 16 questions right. I managed to get 15 correct, (I couldn't finish Number 1). (P.S. This survey isn't mine, I just found it and thought it was interesting to see how many could get it).

1. List 10 US Presidents and Major things they did in office.
2. Describe the French Revolution that began in 1789 in moderate detail.
3. List and name the six wives of Henry VIII of England, and what happened to each one.
4. List at least 3 Ancient Humanoid species…

I'm not a teenager, and I believe I can answer at least 12 without further research, but anyone claiming that most American or European teenagers could, is dreaming.
I would suggest not one in a thousand could name 5 lovers/husbands of Cleopatra VII.

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