Charles Darwin, A Scientist And Natural Observer Of The World

1287 Words Mar 5th, 2016 6 Pages
In 1871, a scientist and natural observer of the world published a book named The Descent of Man, despite it contradicting the widely held religious beliefs of the time. Charles Darwin, the naturalist famous for his contributions to evolutionary theory, applies his own theories of evolution to humans in his book, The Descent of Man, and explains that the common cognitive characteristics which define humans as unique have “...no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals” (34). Darwin is able to push this point forward by hypothesising about the development of early man and how natural selection gave rise to certain mental capacities that are only a bit more evolved than other animals. The mental faculties he chooses to address in his publication are imitation, attention, memory, imagination, reasoning, and toolmaking. First, it is important to understand what natural selection and evolution are and how they would have strengthened mankind 's brains. According to Darwin’s own theory of natural selection, organisms that are most fit for their environment are the ones that survive and pass on their traits to their offspring. The less fit genes, and their carriers, go extinct from the gene pool. Eventually, the gradual changes over a long period of time add up and the end result is a new species derived from another. Most observed animals evolve through the modification of their physical structure to suit their environments; however, humans have uniquely evolved…
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