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His voyage of circumnavigation on the Beagle lead to pertinent observations: the similarities of structures between fossils and living forms in the same area; the presence of related but different species in adjacent areas of the same continent; the resemblance of species on isolated islands to those of the nearest continent and differences between species on closely adjacent islands of the Galapagos Archipelago in relation to their modes of life and feeding; natural selection and survival of the fittest.
The conclusions arising out of these and other observations were published as “The .
In this quickly progressing scenario, what is the relevance of evolution as Darwin perceived it?
With this bold statement, made in a pocket notebook in 1838, Charles Darwin broached the revolutionary research program that would culminate in his two masterworks—the Origin of Species (1859) and the Descent of Man (1871).
The theory made change in organisms an irrevocable part of life.
It created a controversy, because to accept this change would be going against certain religious dogma.
Man has always wondered where he came from, wondered what his origins were and wondered spellbound at the wonderful variety of life around him!
Picking up from where Darwin had left off on the issue of altruism among family members, Hamilton reformulated Darwin’s thinking into the far more powerful notion of “inclusive fitness.” In contrast to fitness calculated as “reproductive success” (the classical Darwinian notion), Hamilton’s expanded measure adds to an individual’s own reproductive success all of his effects on the reproductive success of close relatives, discounted according to the degree of relatedness.Even Alfred Russel Wallace, who co-discovered the theory of natural selection in 1858 while collecting biological specimens in Malaysia, later concluded that the human brain could not have attained its present form solely by natural selection.The mind, Wallace reasoned, was capable of far more impressive feats of intellectual ability than could possibly have been useful to our ancestors living in a state of nature.No aspect of Darwin’s evolutionary theorizing was more controversial than its disturbing implica-tions for humankind.