Evolutionary Theory Research Paper Sample

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Charles Darwin, Theory, Evolution, Species, Time, Selection, England, Nature

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/03

It is known that in the summer of 1842, Charles Darwin finally decided that he had collected enough material on the problem of the origin of species to make his views as a small sketch. There was the overall structure of his theory presented. Two years later, Darwin wrote an extended version (an essay), which, according to his instructions, was to be published in the case of his death, if he did not have time to write something new on this topic.
Darwin could publish that essay immediately but he decided to spend eight years (1846-1854) addressing the morphological and taxonomic studies of barnacles and other pursuits. Delay with the publication of Darwin's work on evolution was largely due to the fear of confrontation with his social class and his colleagues, and this fear was not groundless. Only in September 1854, Darwin again devoted all his energy to the theory of the origin of species. He has updated and improved it. Also he performed numerous special studies. In an intense correspondence with experts around the world he collected the necessary information on various issues dealing with both amateur and professional breeders, producing valuable information.
In June 18, 1858 Darwin suddenly had to interrupt his work on "Big Species Book", in which he wanted to present his new theory. He has completed a significant portion of the manuscript when he received a letter of naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace, who worked at that time on the Maluku Islands. The letter contained a manuscript that Wallace wanted to publish. Darwin was shocked by the content of the manuscript - Wallace not only took the side of the theory of evolution and common descent, but also suggested an evolutionary mechanism that is almost identical to that proposed by Darwin himself. In a letter to Lyell, which Darwin sent on the same day, was noted: "I have never seen so striking coincidence; If Wallace had my manuscript sketch of 1842, he could not have made a better short message about it! Even the concepts used are used by me as the names of my chapters.”
The question naturally arises: Is Darwin's theory is identical to Wallace’s theory, and if so, how this amazing coincidence is explained? Are there any biographical parallels between Darwin and Wallace?
As it written by the experts of the University of California Museum of Paleontology: “Darwin and the British biologist Alfred Russel Wallace independently conceived of a natural, even observable, way for life to change: a process Darwin called natural selection.” Both Wallace and Darwin were the British, they both took a long research expeditions, both read the same books, especially "Principles of Geology" (Lyell), "Essays" (Malthus) and "Footprints" (Chambers), and both were keen naturalists. But there were significant differences, especially in their social position. Darwin was a wealthy man; he studied in one of the elite universities of England and belonged to the scientific community of London. Wallace, on the contrary, was the son of an impoverished small entrepreneur and he didn’t get higher education. He earned his living by selling the collections of birds and insects from tropical countries.
In April 1848, Wallace along with Henry Walter Bates went on an expedition in the Amazon basin. By this time, Wallace has become a supporter of the theory of evolution under the influence of Chambers’s "Footprints". On the way home, the ship has sunk and Wallace lost all his collections. In early May 1854, he left England again, this time by going to the Malay Archipelago. A little more than a year ago, Wallace wrote his first important article "On the law that governs the introduction of new species" (1855). In this article Wallace has already expressed the idea of ​​evolution and justified its proximity to the facts of similar species in space and time. Like Darwin, Wallace argued with Lyell, denies the possibility of transformation of one species into another. Wallace theory in its main features coincides almost entirely with Darwin's theory - unlimited variability and struggle for existence are leading to a continuous evolution. But there is a slight difference: while Darwin pointed out a great importance to the practice of breeding, Wallace thought that this analogy is unconvincing. In subsequent years, there were other differences in the views of Darwin and Wallace. Thus, in the 1860s, Wallace spoke against the idea of ​​inheritance of acquired characteristics, and in the 1880s he became one of the vigorous defenders Weismann. Wallace has not adhered to the principle of sexual selection, and also rejected Darwin's attempt to explain the appearance of the selection of the spirit of man. Even in 1858, Wallace explained the development of all organisms by a selection theory. But in the middle of 1860s he became interested in spiritualism and began to speak out against the natural appearance of the human spirit. (Wyhe, J. 2013)
Darwin was the one who shake the last bastion of faith in creation and the static state of the world. More than anyone, he sought to ensure that the idea of ​​changing the species became a general conviction. He showed that in order to explain the expedient structure of organisms do not have to accept the existence of a given external development. Because of his work in the evolution of just a few years has been recognized as an established fact the overwhelming majority of educated people (Leonard, K., 2013)
Although Darwin's theory was a decisive breakthrough in the development of ideas about the nature, traditional (primarily religious and idealistic) representation continued to exist. In order to overcome these historical relics, it took the work of many generations of biologists. Such work is required now.


Leonard, K. (2013). Why does Charles Darwin eclipse Alfred Russel Wallace? Retrieved March 27, 2015, from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-21549079
Natural Selection: Charles Darwin & Alfred Russel Wallace. (2013). Retrieved March 27, 2015, from http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/history_14
Wyhe, J. (2013, August 9). Darwin did not cheat Wallace out of his rightful place in history. Retrieved March 27, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/aug/09/charles-darwin-alfred-russel-wallace

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Evolutionary Theory Research Paper Sample. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/evolutionary-theory-research-paper-sample/. Published Jan 03, 2021. Accessed June 30, 2022.

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