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Charles Darwin

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  1. Charles Darwin

  2. Charles Darwin1809 – 1892 • Originally studied medicine at Edinburgh • Switched to theology at Cambridge • Loved biology

  3. The Journey • Naturalist on the HMS Beagle • 5-year trip mapping the coastlines around South America

  4. Voyage of HMS Beagle (1831-1836)

  5. Darwin’s Finches Galapagos Islands

  6. Scientific Research Posed Problems • Fossils of animals that didn’t seem to exist. • Fossils of animals that seemed similar to modern animals, just much larger. • Oldest layers of Earth held fossils of simple animals while newer layers had more sophisticated fossils.

  7. Geographic distribution of animals in the world. • Flightless birds in Australia • African & Asian elephants Scientific Research Posed Problems

  8. Fossils indicated human and animal death on the planet for millions of years, but the Bible said death started with The Fall in the Garden of Eden. Scientific Research Posed Problems

  9. A New Proposal Charles Darwin, in 1859, proposed a “theory of descent with modification through variation and natural selection.”

  10. 1842 - He wrote out a 35 page pencil sketch of his ideas. 1844 - He expanded it to 231 pages, put the manuscript in a safe with some money and instructions to publish it after he was dead. 1859 - Darwin published Origin of Species Charles Darwin--The Theory

  11. Creatures produce more offspring than can survive. There is great variation within a species. Some of that variation is passed on to future generations. Darwin’s Three Premises

  12. The variation that helps an organism adapt to the environment is most likely to be passed on. • Get food • Escape predators • Find a mate Natural Selection

  13. Communism • Karl Marx saw in “Social Darwinism” the idea that we could alter the environment of individuals and thereby develop new traits and qualities. • Example: The abolition of private property could lead to humans getting rid of their aggressions, leading to a Utopian society. Social Darwinism

  14. Nazism • Early German nationalists argued that nations were essentially the same as members of a species. • When fighting between nations occurred, the human race was made “fitter.” • They also argued that it was a natural process to eliminate inferior nations or peoples. Social Darwinism

  15. Capitalism • Capitalists, such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, argued that capitalism was the best form of “survival of the fittest.” • They argued that the government should not help the poor, infirm, or unfit. • If the lower classes died in their factories or mills, that was just a natural process by which society was improved. Social Darwinism

  16. Eugenics • In 1927 the US Supreme Court ruled that Virginia could force sterilize “unfit” citizens. • Many other states adopted similar laws • It total, over 64,000 Americans were sterilized • It didn’t end until 1963. Social Darwinism

  17. Creationism versus Evolution • Creationism • The religious belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created, in their original form, by a deity. Today’s Culture War

  18. What Americans believe:Does Evolution Exist?

  19. What Americans believe:How did humans get the way we are?