Darwin 's Theory Of Natural Selection

1189 Words Mar 8th, 2016 5 Pages
When Charles Darwin presented his theory of natural selection in On the Origin of Species he was aware that it would not easily be accepted. Darwin compares the struggle he anticipates to the challenges encountered in other scientific fields, writing, “The difficulty is the same as felt by so many geologists, when Lyell first insisted that long lines of island cliffs had been formed, and great valleys excavated, by the slow action of the coast-waves” (Darwin, 392). Darwin anticipates that his theory will be criticized in a similar manner to theories purposed by Lyell. Believing that these criticisms originate from the limitation of human understanding. Among these limitations is the opinion that natural selection has the same restraints as the selection practised by humans during domestication. Natural selection can improve all characteristics of an organism allowing it to adapt perfectly to its environment while human selection can only alter the visible appearance of animals for humanity’s benefit. An additional human limitation that must be overcome is the inability to understand the immense periods of time that Darwin associates with the variation between species. Darwin is critical of a human’s ability to comprehend such time frames, and as a result, worries they will dismiss his theory without understanding it. Darwin is aware that the reader must overcome the human limitations to understand the true capabilities of nature, and the vast quantities of time that are…
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