The Evolution Of John Herschel And Lyell And Charles Darwin

Decent Essays
The Evolution of Darwin
It is difficult to argue against the magnitude of the impact Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection had on the world. It has revolutionized biology as we know it and given an exact definition of the term ‘species’. During his journey to develop this theory, a great number of people had influenced Darwin’s thinking and actions which eventually led to his elucidation of the mechanisms of evolution. This essay will examine some of these individuals in greater detail to examine how they had affected Darwin, either through modifying his thinking or a more direct form of assistance. Two such examples are the economist Thomas Malthus and the lawyer Charles Lyell. Malthus’s essay provided Darwin with the
…show more content…
The English philosophers of science John Herschel and William Whewell had sewn into Darwin the ideals of the hypethetico-deductive system which Darwin had followed in conceptualizing and constructing his theory (2). John Henslow, a botany professor and a mentor to Darwin, was the individual who had suggested Darwin as a naturalist for the HMS Beagle (3). Furthermore, Henslow’s mode of thinking had crept into Darwin through his time at Cambridge (3). Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a rival to Darwin who was the first to introduce the idea of evolution to the world, albeit in an incredibly radical format to the one prevalent today (4, 5, 6).These are among some of the key individuals who contributed to the development of the Charles Darwin, whose name is etched into the vast majority …show more content…
An English astronomer, Herschel saw all scientific theories as hypothetico-deductive systems. The hypothetico-deductive system is one within which new theories are formulated in such a way that they can be tested empirically. Any result which does not agree with the hypothesis being tested is taken as a falsification (2). Herschel further states, scientific hypothetico-deductive systems consist of certain ‘laws’ which are universally true (2). Darwin first interacted with Herschel’s work through Herschel’s ‘Discourse’. Since then, Darwin appears to hold the man in high respects, even after meeting him personally (2). William Whewell, a close friend to Herschel, has also contributed greatly to the system of science that Darwin embodies, termed the Herschel-Whewell system (2).The structure of Darwin’s description and formulation of natural selection can be seen to parallel this system. From Malthus, Darwin first begins to formulate natural selection from the ‘law’ that populations increase at a faster rate than their food supply

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin were once friends, contemporaries, and rivals. Both scientists proposed the theory of natural selection, the process where organisms develop traits over time that adapt to their surrounding environments and become more common through reproduction. Darwin published his work On the Origin of Species detailing his theory of natural selection in 1859, while Wallace had discussed with Darwin the theory as well. The theory of natural selection led Darwin and Wallace to develop radically different views of evolution that rivaled each other's theories. Darwin published his theories of evolution, and as a result, they were widely known throughout his time.…

    • 661 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Abstract Charles Darwin had a major influence on the idea of functionalism. His theory of evolution by natural selection was the key component of sparking functionalism. Functionalism was an idea brought to the United States created in opposition of structuralism. John Dewey and James Rowland Angell were the most prominent advocates for functionalism. The writings of these great thinkers of the functionalism movement were both influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.…

    • 1115 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Emergence of the idea of Evolution The Webster’s dictionary definition of evolution is stated as the historical development of a biological group. Due to advancements in scientific thinking and ideas from different ancient cultures such as the Arabs, Indians, and Chinese, notions of biological evolution were able to be cultivated long before prominent naturalist, Charles Darwin was even born. Precursors to the development of the theory of evolution were largely important for naturalists to understand the many forms of life on Earth. In an epistemological standpoint, before early naturalists could begin to understand the forms of life they had to organize them by listing and describing them. There were numerous naturalists that discovered…

    • 1126 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    All of whom saw the variation caused by breeding or artificial selection to acquire a desired trait. Darwin just had to puzzle together the missing pieces and voila. He proves evolution. Sounds simple in theory, but the amount of investigation Darwin put forth is astonishing. If you read On the Origin of Species, it feels like a journey as Darwin starts with the simple foundation of his ideas and expands into a masterpiece of scientific evidence.…

    • 700 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Over The theory of evolution has evolved with more in-depth studies creating what we know today as evolution. However, Darwin’s thoughts brought a fundamental shift in how the comprehension of biology was understood through his thoughts and ideas on natural selection. Natural selection itself has brought many breakthroughs in our modern comprehension of everything from disease control to computer science! Social Darwinism is a form of Darwinism that has been misused to bolster racist arguments. A prime example of this was the Nazi policy of eugenics executed during the Holocaust.…

    • 1314 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Such as the logic needed to think up the theories and all the information, research, and equipment need to prove and explain such theories. The logos or logic behind all of these theories was that we knew species changed over time and were constantly adapting we just were not sure how these species were doing such changes and adapting. So Darwin did his research and found the theory of Jean - Baptiste Lamarck and started building on his research to fine natural selection. The logic was in Jean - Baptiste Lamarck theory but needed to be taken a step further. To do that Darwin had to also bring the logics from the discovery and theory of Thomas Malthus.…

    • 1029 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He proposed that after periodic catastrophic floods new species were created or produced. Although also in the pre-Darwinian nineteenth century in England, Robert Chambers, was an evolutionary thinker that published Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation to open up the question of evolution by natural law. Since this publication was so controversial it was not until after his death that he was revealed to be the author. Chambers theory of how evolution occurred was similar to Lamarck’s original theory, although made some belittling remarks of Lamarck. His theory included two main ideas that he perceived from the evidence.…

    • 1039 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Charles Darwin was an English naturalist and geologist. He is best known for his theory of evolution. Darwin learned most of his information on the Voyage of the Beagle. Charles Darwin wrote a book, On the Origin of Species. From this book, came the the saying “Survival of the Fittest.” Darwin also came up with natural selection.…

    • 1024 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Darwin’s idea has been born as an answer to questions in biology. He as the father of evolution contributed the most to our modern science. Even in this present his theories such as natural selection is still used, like a simple mathematical equation. We all know that two plus two equal four, however, did we ever question why? Taking this in consideration, his natural selection theory was based on idea:” Survival of the Fittest”.…

    • 822 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In 1859 Charles Darwin published his book “The Origin of Species”. This book explained his theories of how animals and humans were formed. The beginning of the earth has been a mystery frustrating the minds of scientist for many years. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a change in the genetic material of a population of organisms from one generation to the next. Though changes produced in one generation are normally small, differences with each generation overtime can become substantial changes in population.…

    • 1064 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics