Charles Darwin and His Evolutionary Theory’s Effect on Psychology
PS 352 History and Systems of Psychology
Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution have always been an interest of mine because of the fact that I am a strong believer in God. Researching the evolutionary theory brings a couple of issues when considering Darwin and his evolutionary ideas. The first issue to consider is that if God designed the human mind, why is it that it took so long for humans to develop theistic concepts and beliefs. The second issue is the question asking why would God use evolution to design the living world when the discovery of evolution would contribute to so much nonbelief in God? It interests me because there is so much proof of the existence of God, while on the other hand there is so much that points towards evolution as well. I have my own personal opinion and reasons for why I believe that the world and all of its elements were created by God, but due to the fact that there are so many unanswered questions I chose to research Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution to gain a more in-depth idea of what exactly his thoughts on evolution were, where they came from, as well as more recent research and thoughts in other peer reviewed journal articles. On the Origin of Species
As a young child, Charles Darwin had always shown an interest in natural history and in collecting things such as shells and minerals. After college, he began working towards publishing a book titled On the Origin of Species, in which would present his evolutionary theory to the public. It took him a while because he wanted to make sure that before he published his work, it would be supported by strong scientific evidence. The basic idea of his book was that in nature, a process of natural selection results in the survival of those organisms that are best suited for the environment, and as a result, the elimination of those that are not fit for their environment. In other words, species that aren’t able to adapt or adjust to the environment will not survive. This idea is better known as the “survival of the fittest” (Green, 2009). He also had a theory of natural selection. The theory of natural selection made four important contributions. First, it explained change over time in an organic design. Second, it furnished the causal processes by which different species originate. Third, it explained the seemingly purposive quality of the component parts- their adaptive functions or the ways in which these characteristics aid in survival. Fourth, natural selection unified all species past and present, including humans, into one grand tree of descent (Buss, 2009). The Finches’ Beaks
As Darwin went on to study variations among and within species while visiting the Galápagos Islands, he had seen how animals of the same species evolved over time in different ways in response to the differing environmental conditions. A couple of Princeton University biologists decided to go and monitor the modifications found in succeeding generations of 13 finches as the birds adapted to dramatic changes in the environment (DeLeon et al., 2011). This research lasted more than 30 years. Through their research, they realized that evolution was occurring faster than Darwin had expected. In relation to the survival of the fittest, during severe drought conditions, the birds’ food supply was reduced to tough spikey seeds, and only the finches with the thickest beaks survived because they were able to break open the seeds. The birds with thinner beaks died off. During a time when heavy storms and floods struck the islands, only tiny seeds were left, making it necessary for the finches to have slender beaks in order to eat and survive. Therefore, these finches began to flourish and the thick-beaked birds were unable to survive. A similar study was done on two different sites on the Galapagos Island. The first was El Garrapatero; an undisturbed site, and Academy...
...“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
These are the words of the famous English naturalist Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882). Charles Darwin’s research lead to the now widely accepted scientific theory about natural selection in the process of evolution.
CharlesDarwin was born in Shrewsbury, England into a wealthy and well-connected family. Following his father’s wishes, Darwin attended Edinburgh University with the intention of becoming a physician. He was not interested in this profession and dropped out. However, during this time he had been interested in his studies of natural history. He then transferred to Cambridge and took up a Bachelor of Arts degree with the intention of becoming an Anglican minister.
In 1831, because of his strong interest in natural history (more so than religion), Darwin joined a five-year scientific expedition on the survey ship HMS Beagle acting as an unpaid naturalist and companion to the wealthy captain of the ship. It was on this voyage where he read Lyell’s Principles of Geology which proposed that the fossils found in rocks were actually evidence of animals that had lived many centuries ago. This provoked Darwin to think about these concepts as he experienced the rich variety of animal life and...
...CharlesDarwin: Pioneer of Evolution TheoryCharlesDarwin is the source of one of the biggest controversial subjects in the modern world. A pioneer of evolutionary biology, Darwin’s ideas and observations are all the more important in today’s further understanding of the sciences. Darwin’s work and understanding has propelled him to become one of the most influential scientists that ever lived.
The Grandfather of Charles, Erasmus Darwin, was a physician and poet with a fascination for natural philosophy. (Berra, 2). He was a kind-hearted man and enjoyed a comfortable life due to his popularity as a physician. He refused payment from poor patients and even offered them food and money! He was very close to several of the wealthy patients who made his comfortable life possible, and was a member of a group of intellectuals that jokingly called themselves the Lunatics. This group included James Watt, who perfected the steam engine, and Joseph Priestley, who is credited with the discovery of oxygen. Perhaps more importantly, the work that Erasmus proposed included an explanation for the origin and development of life. He published a book where he discussed cross-fertilization of plants as well as the domestication of animals. He also published other works discussing inheritance mechanisms and sexual selection.
Robert Darwin, like his father, was...
...CharlesDarwin and the Theory of Evolution
Darwin was a British scientist who first set the building blocks for the theory of evolution, and transformed the way in which we think about the natural world and the organisms within it.
Charles Robert Darwin was born on the 12th of February 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. He was born into a wealthy and well-connected family. Initially, he had planned to follow a medical career path, and studied firstly at Edinburgh University, but then changed to Cambridge. In 1831, he joined a 5 year scientific expedition on the survey ship – HMS Beagle. At this time, most Europeans believed that the world and animals/plants had been created by God in seven days, as described in the Bible. However, Darwin believed the rich variety of animal life and geological features within our world suggested something different.
On the 5 year voyage, Darwin was especially interested in his findings within the Galapagos Islands, which seemed to support his initial thought of evolution within a species. Also, on his travels, Darwin read Lyrell’s ‘Principles of Geology’, which suggested that the fossils found in rocks were actually evidence of animals that had lived many thousands or even millions of years ago. This reinforced Darwin’s own mind, and his visit to...
...CharlesDarwin: Life to Death
When most people think of CharlesDarwin they associate his name with the theory of evolution. The Darwinian Theory not only aroused controversy, while at the same time created a new form of scientific thought. Darwin did more than just come up with the theory of evolution, he married his cousin. All joking aside, he was a remarkable man that would have a tremendous impact on the scientific community as a whole. His ideas and discoveries lead to new ways for people to think that were not accepted in previous years. Darwin took a naturalist approach on the creation of people, and all other living organisms beginning from a young age until his death. He offended many people and was looked down upon but nothing stopped him. CharlesDarwin and his undertakings are noteworthy because they shape our view of evolution, natural history, the classification of plants and animal species and the basis of the study of genetics. Darwin’s theory of Survival of the fittest was created after extraneous research, discoveries, and criticism by religion.
CharlesDarwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England in the county town Shropshire. Growing up Darwin was the second youngest of six siblings. He came from a long line of scientists of...
...Charles Darwin’s Work and discoveries, a Turning Point in History
“In the long history of man kind (animal kind too), those who learn to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed” (Darwin). This is a quote from CharlesDarwin that refers to many things; science, social darwinism, and imperialism. CharlesDarwin was an important scientist and naturalist that lived in the 19th century in England. Charles Darwin’s books, primarily “The Origin of the Species”, and his discoveries created a turning point in modern science. Darwin’s impact on conventional thought including, social darwinism, imperialism and racism was dramatic. His work changed many people’s religious, scientific and social beliefs.
Prior to Charles Darwin’s work and discoveries, including the voyage of the Beagle, there were different beliefs and other very influential scientists. Before his work, the common religious belief in Europe was the creation story from the book of Genesis. In the book of Genesis, it states that God created the world in 7 days. Creationism is the religious belief that the Earth and the universe were created by a supernatural being, most often referred to as God. This was the common belief in the 18th century. Most people believed that God created us the way we are today.
Darwin came from a family of doctors and his dad wanted...
Evolution is the process in which significant
changes in the inheritable traits (genetic
makeup) of a species occur over time.
The validity and value of evolutionary
biology are based on continual analysis
and interpretation of accumulating science
THEORIES OF ORGANIC EVOLUTION
• Historically three theories
• The views of most modern biologists
combine the second and third
• No evidence of the first theory, that of
LAMARCK: Inherited Acquired Characteristics
• Structural variations are due to
functional needs – “to use or
• Use of a structure increases its
• Failure to use it decreases its size
• These variations (now referred to
as “acquired characteristics” are
• There is no supporting evidence
in modern biology to support
LAMARCK: Inherited Acquired Characteristics
A) Theory of need = production of new organ or
appendage results from a need
B) The Theory of Use or Disuse = organs remain
active as long as they are used, but disappear
gradually with disuse
C) Theory of Inherited Acquired Characteristics =
all that has been acquired by the individual is
also inherited by his progeny in the next
LAMARCK: Inherited Acquired Characteristics
LAMARCK: Inherited Acquired Characteristics
CHARLESDARWIN & The Theory
...DARWIN’S THEORY OF EVOLUTION OF MAN
Naturalist CharlesDarwin was a British scientist who laid the foundations of the theory of evolution and transformed the way people think about the natural world. CharlesDarwin made his argument that humans had evolved from apes where he studied the comparative anatomy and embryology of human species in relation to gorillas and chimps. He pointed out that humans actually have a tailbone, eventhough we have no tail. Some people able to wiggle ears or flex the scalp muscle. Darwin used all of these converging lines of evidence to conclude that humans were most closely related to the African apes, the gorilla and the chimpanzee which all of three animals are the common ancestor would be found in Africa.
Darwin thought that humans were members of the same species and shared common ancestry. He also believed that humans in each race had a different ideal of beauty which had evolved along with their different population. One day, he noted that male birds attracted with females birds with their bright plumage or beautiful songs as well as the case of male stags fought for the privilege of mating. By that, women were wooed by different physical traits which resulted in a sort of ‘self-breeding’ into different ‘varieties’ or races of human. According to Darwin, human form was shaped by the desire.
...CharlesDarwinTheory of Evolution
CharlesDarwin was a British scientist who came up with the idea of the theory of Evolution. He was also a botanist which would be one of the reasons what lead him towards inventing his Theory of Evolution.
Why and How?
CharlesDarwin travelled to the Galapagos Island as a biologist. He travelled on a ship which was undertaking surveys of the Pacific Ocean. His voyage was to examine plants and animals on the islands through which he came up with Theory of Evolution.
CharlesDarwin came up with his Theory of Evolution after surveying birds on each island he went to. He saw finches but they all had different beaks, one finch had a long beak the other had a short beak and another had a dipping beak. After seeing all this CharlesDarwin started thinking and so he thought why does one bird have a long beak and the other have a small beak. During his voyage on the beagle he carried on observing and found fossils and also saw consistent results for which he came up with the theory of evolution. His theory explained that all living things have a common ancestor. The finches he discovered had different beaks and so he came up with the conclusion that all of these finches had a common ancestor and then...