Darwin’s Revolutionary Evolution


On February 12th, we celebrated Charles Darwin’s 206th birthday (Figure 1 shows Darwin late in life). This calls for at least a brief essay, to remind ourselves of Darwin’s remarkable achievement.

Figure 1. Darwin at old age. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.

Evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr wrote once that Darwin’s theory of evolution “caused a greater upheaval in man’s thinking than any other scientific advance since the rebirth of science in the Renaissance.”

Indeed, together with the Copernican revolution, the Darwinian revolution basically demolished the human anthropocentric view of the universe. The impact of the Darwinian revolution was and still is felt far beyond the boundaries of science.

But Darwin’s theory did much more than that. By boldly stating that species are not eternal and immutable, Darwin introduced the concept of an evolving, rather than a static world. This fundamental idea was later expanded, and its adoption encompasses everything from the Earth, to the stars, to galaxies, and to the universe as a whole. Even though the laws of nature (as far as we can tell) stay unchanged, everything within the cosmos is evolving.

Another major consequence of the new Darwinian perspective has been the complete denial of any —> Read More Here


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