An Analysis Of Charles Darwin's Idea Of Natural Selection

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In 1831, Charles Darwin thought he had “wasted” (his word) his college education. The 22-year-old was thus sent off by his father on a five-year journey that would change our understanding of our place in the nonhuman world. After five weeks on the Galápagos Islands, far out in the middle of the Pacific off the coast of Ecuador, Darwin’s observations and drawings of finches and tortoises led him to formulate the idea of natural selection, the centerpiece of his version of evolution. As he walked the sandy shorelines of these craggy volcanoes, he suddenly realized that the birds around him had variable beaks because natural selection had selected certain beaks as more useful than others: some for gathering seeds, others for crushing nuts, a
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