Charles Darwin's Influence On Natural Selection

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Charles Darwin and by extension, Alfred Russell Wallace, were heavily inspired by several intellectual influences while collaborating together on ‘Natural Selection.’ Some are more prominent figures, while others are an inspiration by proxy, such as James Hutton. Charles Lyell’s book Principles of Geology. Lyell’s theory that minute changes would gradually increase over long periods of time helped Darwin theorize and coin the term Natural Selection, and with Lyell’s encouragement, he began working on his most popular book The Origin of Species. In turn, Darwin attempted to credit Lyell’s work in his writings by finding evidence and theories that supported Lyell’s belief of Uniformitarianism—the theory that geological processes that alter the …show more content…
He believed population needed to stay within certain limits by either controlling the number of births, or raising the death rates (though war or famine as a “positive” check). Malthus blamed the declining population on three variables. Firstly, the uncontrolled reproduction of offspring. He felt families were producing more children than they could care for with limited resources. Secondly, the production of those resources though agricultural means could not hope to keep up with the expanding population. The third factor was the irresponsibility of the lower classes. He blamed poor people for continuing to reproduce even though they could not afford to care for their children (About Education-Malthus). Darwin and Wallace saw their own research reflected in Malthus’s work Essay on the Principle of Population, and many of his ideas shaped Darwin’s work on natural selection and the “Survival of the Fittest” theory. This theory emphasized the belief the lower classes were suffering due to lack of resources available to them and seemed to only apply to more civilized

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