1800s |

Darwin's Origin of Species Is Published - 11/24/1859

Today in 1859, British naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin published a noteworthy scientific work on the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, in England. In the work, Darwin hypothesis argued that organisms develop through a procedure he called "natural selection." During the process, organisms with hereditary variations, which fit their surrounding have a tendency to multiply a larger number of offspring than organisms of similar species that do not have the variation thus, affecting the general genetic existence of the species.

Born on February 12, 1809, Darwin was inspired by the work of French naturalist Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck and the English economist Thomas Mathus. He obtained the vast majority of the proof for his hypothesis amid a five-year voyage on board the HMS Beagle in the 1830s. The expedition took him to places like the Galapagos Islands and New Zealand, known for their diversity, where he obtained accurate information of the flora, fauna, and geology of several places. This data, alongside his studies in variation and interbreeding helped improve his theory of the organic evolution when he returned to England.

The possibility of natural evolution of organisms was not new. Among others, his grandfather Erasmus Darwin, a notable English scientist who with the help of Lamarck who in the mid nineteenth century drew the first evolutionary diagram had earlier suggested the evolution theory. Nevertheless, Darwin made science have a handy clarification for the mystery of evolution.

By 1844, Darwin had detailed his theory of natural selection by, but to make the theory public made Darwin uneasy because it clearly opposed the scriptural account of creation. In 1858, while Darwin was yet to make is discoveries public, a British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace published a paper that was the whole summary of Darwin's theory. In 1858, before the Linnean Society of London, Darwin and Wallace gave a joint lecture on evolution. Following the lecture, Darwin arranged for the publication of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

By November 24, 1859, Origin of Species became published and sold out. Immediately, most scientists accepted the theory because it shed lights on the mystery behind biological science, yet conventional Christians denounced the work as a blasphemy to God and the Christian faith. Subsequently, his publication of The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), in which he proved that man evolved from apes made matter worse.

His evolution theory had been widely acknowledged before his death in 1882. To pay tribute to his notable work, Darwin was buried in Westminster Abbey alongside kings, queens, rulers, and other celebrated figures from British history. Until this day, Darwin's theory remains the bedrock of the evolution theory. 

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Mark Hinderberg


Retired History Professor at Vanderbilt University. Love taking a portal through time and sharing my knowledge with anyone else who loves reading about history. It is my passion and my greatest hobby.