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Darwin's Contribution

Darwinism has stood out over time among many theories. The theory states that the human species has evolved over time while new species evolved from the species before them, and that all animal species have a shared predecessor. It came to the public in 1859 through the publication of the book ‘On the Origin of Species.’


Darwin’s theory has come with many benefits, especially in the field of biology. This essay will delve into the individuals who contributed to the theory, how his work has contributed to the scientific community, skepticism, and alternative theories.


Various persons played roles in Darwin's development of his theory of evolution.Thomas Malthus is one of them. He was significant to Darwin, although he was not a scientist but an economist. He focused on comprehending the idea of populations and their growth. 


Darwin was amazed by Malthus’  stance on how the human population was increasing, faster than the production of food, leading them to level out. Darwin integrated this idea into his famous notion of "survival of the fittest" for all species. The findings of Malthus aligned with Darwin's study on adaptations of the Galapagos tortoises. 


Alfred Russel, independently originated the idea of natural selection, although Darwin was investigating it too.However, Darwin published ‘The Origin of Species,’ receiving all the credit. 


James Hutton was a renowned geologist who contributed to Darwin's ideas. He originated the idea of uniformitarianism. Although Darwin obtained the idea from Charles Lyell's book, Hutton was the first to publish the idea. He speculated that geologic processes at the beginning of time and today are similar working the same way. It added to the idea of natural selection by Darwin, who theorized that small adaptations happened over time to modify the species to adapt to the environment.


Darwin's work has enormously contributed to the scientific community. More specifically, his principle on natural selection kickstarted the Copernican Revolution. Organism's adaptive characteristics were now explainable. It laid the foundation for the establishment of biological evolution and the introduction of the life science discipline, and the concept. It also led to science philosophy and the modern zeitgeist. 


It also came as a result of various other research by Darwin, especially on species' non constancy and the idea of branching evolution, He also presented science historicity, trying to explain the processes and events that had taken place experimentally, such as how dinosaurs became extinct It introduced the concept through which the species change to adapt to environments over time. 


Although Darwin has contributed much to the scientific world, Darwin's theory of evolution faces much opposition. First, Darwinism discards any argument that supports supernatural and religious accounts of existence, adaptation, and assortment. He eliminates God from science and strictly depends on natural phenomena. Thus, the account is naturally atheistic. 


Further, the complete struggle for an organism to exist diverges from the belief that God created the universe. There are alternative theories adopted which diverge from Darwin's theories. First, creationism. It entails the belief that the creation and God formed all life forms out of nothing. Arguably, diversity originates from a Biblical perspective, especially in the book of Genesis. In Genesis 1- 5, the age given from Adam to Abraham was 2000 BC. 


Secondly, intelligent design can be used as an alternative. It tries to scientifically illustrate characteristics like intricate complexity and definite complexity that cannot occur through ordinary processes but through miraculous mediations. The evidence they put forward is that, scientifically, mechanisms of bacterial flagella cannot function individually without another if the case was natural. Also, the force of molecular reactions that occur in blood clotting cannot be explained with the exception of the divine. The third theory is Lamarckian evolution. The theory claims that species alter their behavior in response to the environment. For instance, a giraffe species, through habits, seeks to glance at higher leaves, therefore stretching its neck. If this continues for a longer time, their necks will continue growing.


Individuals like Thomas Malthus, Alfred Russel, and James Hutton contributed to Darwin's thinking Darwin's work has contributed to today's biology and has delivered mechanisms through which species adjust over time. Theories like creationism, Intelligent Design, and Lamarckian evolution, have been used as alternatives to Darwin's theory. 


Edited by Chloe Mansola


Image: 'Charles Darwin' by Wikimedia Commons licensed by CC BY 4.0 DEED


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