Tag Archives: Charles Darwin

Today’s Image: Naturalist Charles Darwin (Image: Library of Congress)


Naturalist Charles Darwin

Charles Robert Darwin, born on February 12, 1809, was the English naturalist whose theory of evolution rocked Victorian religion and science. Shortly after his graduation from Cambridge, Darwin sailed as a naturalist with the surveying ship HMS Beagle. During the five-year voyage, Darwin’s observations of wildlife led to the writing of his 1859 book The Origin of the Species, in which he proposed the theory of natural selection. All life, he said, is a struggle for existence and some species are better able to adapt to the environment and survive to pass along their characteristics. In 1871, Darwin wrote Descent of Man, which demonstrated that man and ape could have had a common ancestor. Darwin’s theories were highly controversial and unsettling to those who believed in creationism. Many Victorians condemned Darwin as blasphemous, but many important scientists of the day agreed with his theories.

Image: Library of Congress

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today’s birthday: Charles Darwin (1809)


Charles Darwin (1809)

Darwin was an English naturalist who developed the modern theory of evolution. Along with naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, he proposed the principle of natural selection: the mechanism by which advantageous variations are passed on to later generations and less advantageous traits slowly disappear. Darwin’s intensely controversial theory of evolution aroused widespread argument and debate among scientists and religious leaders. How did Darwin view religion and God? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Charles Darwin Sets Sail on HMS Beagle (1831)


Charles Darwin Sets Sail on HMS Beagle (1831)

The theory of evolution, which Darwin first expressed in On the Origin of Species, was the result of his discoveries as a naturalist on board the HMS Beagle. His book explained evolution through the principles of natural selection and aroused widespread debate among scientists and religious leaders. Darwin spent the rest of his life studying the results of that expedition and developing his theory of evolution. What debilitating disease might he have contracted during the voyage? More… Discuss

qauotation: “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” Herman Melville


It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Herman Melville (1819-1891) Discuss

quotation: The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. Charles Darwin


The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Discuss

Quotation: Charles Darwin


Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Discuss

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QUOTATION: Charles Darwin


It has been a bitter mortification for me to digest the conclusion that the ‘race is for the strong’ and that I shall probably do little more but be content to admire the strides others made in science.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Discuss

 

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: RAYMOND ARTHUR DART (1893)


Raymond Arthur Dart (1893)

Dart was an Australian-born South African physical anthropologist and paleontologist. In 1924, when Asia was still believed to be the cradle of humankind, Dart’s discovery of the Taung skull near the Kalahari substantiated Charles Darwin’s prediction that such ancestral hominin forms would be found in Africa. Dart named the skull, establishing it as the type specimen of a new genus and species,Australopithecus africanus. What disputed theory of human evolution did he originate? More… Discuss

 

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AVERAGENESS


Averageness

In studies of attractiveness, researchers have found that average faces—those with the most conventional traits—are rated as the most attractive. Such studies often use composite photography, a tool developed in the 19th century by Sir Francis Galton, who believed that he could use composite images to identify “types” by facial appearance. Hypothesizing that certain types have similar facial features, he began creating composite photos of the faces of criminals and vegetarians. What did he find? More… Discuss

 

TWIN STUDIES


Twin Studies

Identical twins share virtually all of their genes, and fraternal twins share about 50%. This makes twins ideal subjects for behavioral geneticists, since they can compare how each individual in a pair is influenced by genes, shared family environment, and individual experience. One of the pioneers of twin studies was 19th-century scientist Sir Francis Galton, who was influenced by the work of his cousin, Charles Darwin. What fundamental misconception colored the research of early twin scholars?More… Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: ADAM SEDGWICK (1785) – a geologist


Adam Sedgwick (1785)

One of the founders of modern geology, Sedgwick coined the term Cambrian to describe the earliest geologic period of the Paleozoic era, and, in his most important work, he and geologist R. I. Murchison named the Devonian Period—after the rock formations they studied at Devonshire. Sedgwick was outspoken in asserting the consistency between his scientific findings and his religious beliefs. How, then, did he respond when his former student Charles Darwin published Origin of SpeciesMore… Discuss

 

Today’s Quotation: Charles Darwin – On “Moral Being”


 

A moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives—of approving of some and disapproving of others.Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Discuss


Today’s Birthday: John James Audubon (1785)


John James Audubon (1785)

 Audubon was a US ornithologist and artist known for his drawings and paintings of North American birds. After failing in business, he concentrated on compiling his extraordinary four-volume Birds of America, published between 1827 and 1838. Though his bird poses are sometimes unrealistic—the result of painting dead birds wired into position—and some details are inaccurate, his studies were fundamental to New World ornithology. How many bird species are featured in Birds of America? More… Discuss