Charles Darwin Essay

1055 words - 4 pages

Explain why Darwin's theory was considered highly controversial and explain the impact it hadThrough his theories, Charles Darwin has made himself a notable and renowned figure in the world of science. Because of his work and publishing's, he has been able to change the world's perspective on the creation of humans and how humanity became what it is now. In today's society, his theory of natural selection is widely accepted as a fact of life, but when Darwin's theory was first publicised, it was considered highly controversial. Religious groups argued and disregarded the theory as it questioned the Bible. His principles also made a tremendous impact on society. It changed the way individuals understand how life came to its current state, giving people an insight into the principle of evolution. This of course, it had its benefits of knowledge, however this new perspective lead to some problems, including those associated with Social Darwinism.The theory of evolution before Charles Darwin was just beginning to develop; yet it had not been published in a way that gave a full understanding to the idea. Naturalists before Darwin, such as Jean-Baptise Lamarck, started to outline the blurred idea of evolution. In 1809, Lamarck had published "Philosophie Zoologique", which described a two-part mechanism by which change was gradually introduced into the species and passed down through generations, commonly known as Lamarckism. Yet Lamarckism was not one of the only early ideas on evolution, principles such as uniformitarianism was introduced by Charles Lyell, a geologist and a close friend of Darwin's. But still, both of these theories alone had not allowed the idea of evolution to become a notable and accepted practicality by the world of science, as well as religion. Charles Darwin revolutionised this idea by adopting these theories and including them within his own, and brought it to light with his book published in 1859 called "The origin of species". It stated that all life is related, and has descended from a common ancestor. He argues that all complex creatures evolved naturally over time. He also introduces the theory of "natural selection" where the beneficial adaptations in a species gene is preserved as they aid survival, and passed down to future generations. Darwin wrote, "…natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, through slow steps." This quickly became a well-known scientific principle, but even so, the church and other conservative groups vigorously opposed the principle, because it challenged their own religious beliefs.Darwin's theory was quickly becoming a controversial matter, prompting many famous disputes. The Church of England to begin with, even with his compelling evidence, strongly disagreed with Darwin's propositions as it contradicted with the Bible's teachings. At the time, religion was favoured over...

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