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Analysis of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species

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Introduction

Analysis of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species Charles Darwin in his book, On the Origin of Species, presents us with a theory of natural selection. This theory is his attempt at an explanation on how the world and its species came to be the way that we know them now. Darwin writes on how through a process of millions of years, through the effects of man and the effects of nature, species have had a trial and error experiment ongoing. It is through these trials that the natural world has developed beneficial anomalies that at times seem too great to be the work of chance. Darwin writes on how a species will adapt to its surrounding given enough time. When an animal gains a genetic edge over its competitors, be they of the same species or of another genus altogether, the animal has increased its chance of either procreation or adaptation. When this animal has this beneficial variance, the advantage becomes his and because of this, the trait is then passed on to the animals offspring. The theory of natural selection is not limited to inheritable and beneficial variations of a species. It also relies a great deal on the population growth and death of a species. ...read more.

Middle

Yet another quibbling point brought to attention by Chuck is the existence of neuter insects. The question being that if natural selection only works through a process of slight variation, and only the beneficial variants remain, then why are there neuter insects? Why would nature have seen it fit to not only create these unfortunate slaves but to find them important enough to keep? Darwin attacks this question a little more effectively, I feel, than he did in the latter segment. His argument in this case seems stronger, perhaps because he has more scientific evidence than he had at his disposal on other topics. Darwin uses the example of the neuter worker ants. His reasoning for the neuter gender, on the surface, is much the same as the reasoning for all of the arguments presented to him. He says that he can find neuter insects explicable if "...such insects had been social, and it had been profitable to the community that a number should have been annually born capable of work, but incapable of procreation [He] can see no very great difficulty in this being affected by natural selection." (p. 236) This is not the end for this argument though. ...read more.

Conclusion

But of course I could not say in good faith that he was one hundred percent. Sometimes his arguments fell a little flat and at other times he sounded a bit trite as if he were challenging others to come up with a better answer. And in some ways I hope he was. In the meantime, however, I think he could have done a better job. I am an evolutionist. I have always been an evolutionist. And I cannot foresee anything short of the hand of god changing my mind (which would be a whole other can of worms considering I am an atheist). For years now I have known the premise of Darwin's theory of natural selection. And for years now I have blindly believed it. Having read his book, I can still say that I believe in evolution, and I believe in Darwin's work. But if there was ever a doubt in my mind it was only because Darwin put it there. It is because of this that I truly think Darwin was fair in the utmost sense of the word. Had he not been fair, which he could have been, he could have made a most convincing argument. But he stated every question in his theories and did his best to rebut. And I feel that in his rebuttal, he was convincing indeed. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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