Charles Darwin 's Theory Of Evolution

1737 Words Apr 26th, 2016 7 Pages
The theory of evolution is one of the great intellectual revolutions of human history, drastically changing our perception of the world and of our place in it. Charles Darwin put forth a coherent theory of evolution and amassed a great body of evidence in support of this theory. In Darwin 's time, most scientists fully believed that each organism and each adaptation was the work of the creator. Linneaus established the system of biological classification that we use today, and did so in the spirit of cataloguing God 's creations.
In other words, all of the similarities and dissimilarities among groups of organisms that are the result of the branching process creating the great tree of life (see Figure 1), were viewed by early 19th century philosophers and scientists as a consequence of omnipotent design.

Figure 1: A phylogenetic "tree of life" constructed by computer analysis of cyochrome c molecules in the organisms shown; there are as many different trees of life as there are methods of analysis for constructing them.
However, by the 19th Century, a number of natural historians were beginning to think of evolutionary change as an explanation for patterns observed in nature. The following ideas were part of the intellectual climate of Darwin 's time.
No one knew how old the earth was, but geologists were beginning to make estimates that the earth was considerably older than explained by biblical creation. Geologists were learning more aboutstrata, or layers formed by…
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