Aol news today, reported a Volcano erupting in the Galapagos Islands, of Equador, and it gave the following notation:
British scientist Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution after studying unique animals on the Galapagos Islands. He noticed that the beaks of finches adapted to the particular conditions of each island.
I thought it would be interesting to collect the data that goes along with this, dates, etc, so, could those of you who are familar with this please add anything that you know of that helps to explain how, when & where the mention of evolution started. The above statement seems to indicate where, but, any more info. would be nice to know. Thanks.
Hello there, this is an interesting question. If I can take the liberty of answering some of the questions you asked the others, I hope I'll be forgiven. Please give your own, more detailed answers, too!
Darwin came from a background of traditional Victorian Christianity. His wife was a commited Christian. His own faith was probably more to do with upbringing than committment, but it did exist. However, it was very shaken by the death of his beloved daughter.
The ideas of evolution did begin as no more than ideas, ways to explain things that people observed in nature. I'd say that the Ancient Greeks were a particularly observant bunch, and it doesn't surprise me that at least some of them looked at snakes, for example, and saw that their skeleton included places where legs had once been, and wondered if some kind of evolution was the cause.
However, by the time that Darwin was making his wonderful observations on the Galapagos islands, science had become a true discipline. Philosophers could no longer expect to come up with a good idea and have others discuss it - Darwin was expected to provide evidence which could support his theroy. (BTW, there was another scientist around at the same time independently developing more or less the same theory).
Because Darwin's original theory was supported by evidence from observations in nature, and because the theory has been refined, developed and further supported by later scientific study, it is now out of the realms of 'just a thought' and firmly entrenched in scientific understanding. It can be expected to to refined and developed further, but not to be completely overturned, as it does match everything observed in science, from the 'whole animal' to DNA.
The theories of evolution and natural selection were really first proposed in ancient Greece. The Arabs translated and continued the work of the Greek philosophers, coming up with their own theories about the origin of life. A lot of these works made their way to Renaissance Europe, where several scientists became interested in the concept of evolution. Most people in Europe believed that species were static: they never changed, and the same species God had created originally were all still here, and would always be. It was during the Renaissance people learned there were species that became extinct, that you could use fossils to discover these species, and that you could use layers of rock to date them. A lot of scientists before Darwin already accepted that life could change and mutate over time.
So all of this had been going on for a while prior to Darwin. The reason his visit to the Galapagos and his book were so significant, was that he took natural selection from being a "fringe" theory and gathered a wide array of data to support it, then published it as a comprehensive work. No one had ever done that before.
The website www.talkorigins.org has a lot of resources that explain where the theory came from and how it's changed, before and after Darwin. A guy named Peter Bowler also wrote a book called "Evolution: The History of an Idea". I highly recommend reading it.
"Also, it seems to me that all of this was just thought... something to pursure... can you tell me, how it spread to take over the minds of multitudes of people??"
Silverwings, evolution did not "take over the minds of multitudes of people" anymore than Copernicus' theory that the earth revolved around the sun did. It is scientific fact that all animals evolved from early life forms. The only people who deny it are those whose belief systems are threatened by it, and refuse to accept that the bible's origin story is allegorical and not literal.
Science seeks to enlighten minds, not to control them. But religion has always been at odds with science. Galilleo was tried and convicted for supporting and proving copernicus' heliocentric theory.
fox.. you say he was a religious... scientist... What religion did he practice?
mjax... you say:
The theories of evolution and natural selection were really first proposed in ancient Greece
~~~ Do you have a time line or dates... for this???
Also, it seems to me that all of this was just thought... something to pursure... can you tell me, how it spread to take over the minds of multitudes of people??
And how long did it take to do this???
Charles Darwin was a religious scientist who took observations on a voyage on his ship The Beagle after reading his notes on all the different animals that he took on the islands, he analyzed and theorized, making the Theory of Evolution as the result of his analysis he wrote books on it and more and more scientists began to study this and conduct research which produced a lot of evidence to support the theory Darwin's theory was published in the 19th century
"Do you have a time line or dates... for this??? "
Explore this article http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/darwin-precursors.html
And this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historyofevolutionary_thought
And again, I recommend reading the Bowler book. He has a timeline in there that is much more thorough than either of the articles.