Darwin On The Origin Of Species Essay

Decent Essays
Charles Darwin begins his book, On The Origin of Species, by outlying the idea of variation under domestication. Darwin opens by saying that species that are domesticated are much more different from one another than species observed in the wild (Darwin, p. 7). The major point Darwin is trying to get across in the first chapter of his book is the idea that variation is a direct result of the inheritance from parent to offspring. This is a new idea being generated because many scientists before Darwin believed that variation was a result of environmental conditions. On page 11 of chapter one, Darwin does seem to revert to previous ideology when he provided the example of ducks with strong wings for flight in wild ducks, but stronger legs for…show more content…
He again states there are many definitions for these terms and the exact description of each word had not been fully understood by scientists. Some variations arise from environmental conditions and these are not generally inherited by offspring. However, the variations, or individual difference, that are passed on from parent to offspring are the traits Darwin is very interested in and these are the accumulating variations within a species, giving rise to evolution. “These individual differences are highly important for us, as they afford materials for natural selection to accumulate, in the same manner as man can accumulate in any given direction individual differences in his domesticated productions” (Darwin, pg. 45). This excerpt from The Origin of Species is showing the comparison between natural selection and artificial selection. Darwin is attempting to explain that there is natural mechanism by which organisms undergo change within nature, in the same manner as domesticated animals undergo change by artificial selection preformed by…show more content…
“The preservation of favorable variation and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection” (Darwin, p. 81). Darwin goes on to compare both natural selection and artificial selection within chapter four. Artificial selection can only act on external and visible characteristics. This is a major difference between artificial selection and natural selection. Natural selection acts on organisms both on internal and external characters, it does not care about appearance, but only deals with the usefulness of the trait for the organism. “Man selects only for his own good; Nature only for that of the being which she tends” (Darwin, p. 83). The process of natural selection happens over a long period of time and is a continual process. The evidence of natural selection cannot instantaneously be observed because it is an accumulation of small changes over
Get Access