ALPHABETICAL BRAIN™ VOCABULARY
#4 of 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL SCIENTISTS
#4 CHARLES DARWIN
Life Dates: 1809-1882 A.D.
DISCOVERED EVOLUTION BY DESCENT
Charles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist and geologist best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory.
Darwin established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors.
In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called "natural selection", in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.
Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species.
By the 1870s, the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favored competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution.
Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature.
In 1871 Darwin examined human evolution and sexual selection in the books, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.
Darwin has been described as one of the most influential people in human history.
The Scientific 100 by John Simmons (21-26); Britannica Encyclopedia; and Wikipedia.
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