Darwin
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Darwin

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  • Born into a wealthy family of doctors. Fifth of six children. Erasmus, was also a doctor and had proposed a theory of evolution in 1790.  He often discussed this with Charles, His mother died when he was 8 and next year he got sent to school. He did not do well in school because he thought it “was simply a blank.”
  • Charles Darwin was sent to Edinburgh University to follow that family tradition and become a doctor. He hated it because he couldn’t stand the sight of blood. Although he didn’t progress brilliantly, Charles eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree.   Charles had also learned the skill of taxidermy (stuffing animals) and had developed a keen interest in collecting rocks and insects. In 1828 Charles went to Cambridge to study theology. If he would not become a doctor, it was decided that maybe he could become a clergyman.  Although he studied only mathematics, religion and the classical Latin texts, Charles developed a friendship with a professor of botany, a John Henslow, with whom he would often discuss the natural world. Got a letter from Henslow. HMS Beagle was soon to leave on a two year, around the world voyage.  Its primary mission was to map the coast of South America; furthermore, the ship’s captain, Robert Fitzroy, wanted a naturalist to accompany him on the voyage.  Henslow had recommended Darwin as “qualified for collecting, observing and noting anything worthy.” 
  • Among their other tasks, Captain Fitzroy's intention was that on the voyage the naturalist should find that the Biblical account of creation (as found in the book of Genesis), was word for word true. After a few stops, they reached Rio de Janeiro in April, 1832.  Darwin was put ashore and studied the plants and animals of rainforests, totally foreign to the English countryside.  He had begun to see that, no matter what environment, a form of life would exist to suit it.  If the words of Genesis were literally true, it had been decided, no plants or animals could have changed since God had created them.  Darwin though, found bones of animals resembling living species but larger, different and extinct. Charles went then to Buenos Aries where he saw fossils of more ancient animals, including a mastodon, a large, elephant-like creature. Darwin began accept the idea that perhaps there had been changes to the Earth since creation - slow, gradual changes, that would give animal and plant life time to adapt also. HMS Beagle reached the Galápagos islands on 17 September, 1835.  The ship landed on Chatam Island, the largest of the chain of volcanic islands 600 miles west of Ecuador.  “Nothing could be less inviting”, Darwin wrote on first seeing the black, volcanic island.  As he explored he found these islands similar to ones he had already seen, but the species on this isolated land were slightly different than he had seen elsewhere.  On the Galápagos, he saw giant tortoises whose shells varied from island to island.  After a while, Darwin noticed  that there were two varieties of iguanas on the island, one species adapted for sea and one for land.  He noticed (and stuffed) over twenty species of finches, each with a different beak, especially suited for its native island.  Although this was against both his scientific and religious teaching, Darwin began to think that perhaps species could change to suit their environment. He spent 5 years travelling
  • Tortoise Saddle-Backed Dome-Shaped: Intermediate The warbler finch (top) boasts a thin, sharp beak best suited for spearing insects. Ground finches' shorter, more robust beaks (center) are adapted for eating seeds found on the ground. Those of cactus finches (bottom) are shaped for getting seeds from cacti.

Darwin Darwin Presentation Transcript

  • 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882
    • Born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England
    • Charles’ grandfather, Erasmus, proposed theory of evolution
    • Didn’t do well in school
    • Went to Edinburgh University on October 1825 to become a doctor.
    • In 1828, Charles went to Cambridge to study theology.
    • Later received a letter from Henslow
    View slide
    • Set sail from Devenport, England, two days after Christmas on 1831
    • Darwin found bones of animals resembling living species but larger, different and extinct.
    • HMS Beagle reached the Galápagos islands on 17 September, 1835.  The ship landed on Chatam Island.
    View slide
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  • Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection
    • Implies that ALL species derived from common ancestors
    • Considered to be the biggest factor in the diversity of species to date
  • Principles of His Theory
    • Population grows exponentially
    • Food grows geometrically
    •  food becomes scarce  increased competition among species for food
    • therefore the best suited species will survive and the others will die out as they are now inadequate(show picture of victory)
  • Survival of The fittest
    • The better suited species will live on. They were better suited in the first place due their genome
    • The better genes will be passed on through the same species
    • In a changing environment, the genes of each species would also have to change  evolution
    • The areas where these organisms would be best suited was their ecological niche and at large would help the species survive.