influences on darwin

darwins influences

When Darwin returned to England five years later, in 1836, at the end of his voyage, he did not rush to announce his discoveries. Unlike other naturalists before him, Darwin did not want to present any ideas unless he had strong evidence supporting them. Instead, once Darwin returned to England, he spent over twenty years examining specimens, talking with other scientists and collecting more information before he presented his theories. Some of Darwins ideas conflicted with widely held beliefs, including those from religious leaders. At that time, many people believed that organisms never change and never go extinct, and that the world was only about 6,000 years old, always existing in the same way, never changing. These beliefs delayed Darwin in presenting his findings. How did Darwin come up with his theories? Charles Darwin was influenced by the ideas of several people. 1. Before the voyage of the Beagle, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposed the idea that species change over time. However, Darwin differed with Lamarck on several key points. Lamarck proposed that traits acquired during ones lifetime could be passed to the next generation. Darwin did not agree with this. 2. The findings of Charles Lyell, a well-known geologist, also influenced Darwin. Lyells writings taught Darwin about geology, paleontology, and the changing Earth. Lyells findings suggested the Earth must be much older than 6,000 years. And the evolution of life, as Darwin was developing his ideas, would definitely take much longer than just 6,000 years. During the Voyage of the Beagle, Darwin observed fossils of sea life high up in the mountains. What must happen to the Earth for this to occur? Darwin, using the readings of Lyell, took this as evidence of a constantly changing Earth. 3. After the Voyage of the Beagle, another naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace ( Figure 1.1), developed a similar theory of evolution by natural selection. Wallace toured South America and made similar observations to Darwins. Darwin and Wallace presented their theories and evidence in public together. Due to the large number of observations and conclusions he made, Darwin is mostly credited and associated with this theory. Alfred Wallace developed a similar theory of evolution by natural selection. Imagine developing a theory that conflicted with widely held beliefs of the time, as Darwin did. Imagine pulling together material from all these different people, adding his own findings, and turning it all into his theory. Imag- ine the torment Darwin must have endured during this time, knowing the skepticism that would follow the release of his findings. But, upon his death, Darwin was given one of the highest honors in England. Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey, the final resting place of many of Englands kings and queens. Why was he buried in such an important spot?

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questions

prior to darwin, many people believed earth was only about 6,000 years old.

-->  a. true

b. false

many people believed that organisms never change and never go extinct.

-->  a. true

b. false

who suggested the earth must be over 6,000 years old, because of all the geological changes.

-->  a) lyell

b) lamarck

c) wallace

d) darwin

who proposed that traits acquired during ones lifetime could be passed to the next generation?

a) lyell

-->  b) lamarck

c) wallace

d) darwin

who developed a theory of evolution similar to darwins?

a) lamarck

b) lyell

-->  c) wallace

d) no one

during darwins voyage, he observed fossils of sea life in the mountains? this is evidence of

a) fish living in the mountains.

-->  b) dramatic geological changes during earths history.

c) the evolution of sea life into animals that live in the mountains.

d) all of the above

darwin is buried in westminster abbey in london, the final resting place of many of englands kings and queens. this honor suggests

a) the influence darwin had on everyone else.

b) the acceptance of darwins work.

c) the important place in history of darwin.

-->  d) all of the above

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