Darwin - Australia

The Darwins had ten children: two died in infancy, and Annie's death at the age of ten had a devastating effect on her parents. Charles was a devoted father and uncommonly attentive to his children. Whenever they fell ill he feared that they might have inherited weaknesses from inbreeding due to the close family ties he shared with his wife and cousin, Emma Wedgwood. He examined this topic in his writings, contrasting it with the advantages of crossing amongst many organisms. Despite his fears, most of the surviving children went on to have distinguished careers as notable members of the prom

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mystery_girl :

What is the comparison the Charles Darwin in "Origin of Species" make between the theory of natural selection and Newton's law of gravity?

blr931 :
"how can there be a comparison when one is right and the other is wrong."
Doormat :
"I don't think there is a comparison there is there? Isn't that two different areas of science?"
vanshusband :
"good question , for debate; but i believe both to be natural laws without a true connection, except you could argue that: newtons law being a proven fact, by all of the sci. com. could be brought to bare as another sound theory not accepted in its early years...Darwin, in the "origin of species" is not without errors, but the laws put forth have been held up as correct, or in the least, not disprovable.."
rajjpuut :
"Looking for controversey are we? Hee hee. Well, Darwin referred to blind and automatic causes like those that formed the stars and planets or hold them in place in their orbits. Darwin's 'theory' has been around since Lucretius and Aristotle. It's just that Darwin took a long sea voyage aboard HMS Beagle to some very singular locations on planet earth and was able to collect, observe and speculate more deeply and accurately then those men; and those men did not face a culture that was as anti-intellectual as our own. For proof of this last statement, I'll allow you to channel surf sit-coms and commercials for ten minutes any evening LOL. I'll give you an insight that almost no one ever realizes: why is Darwin so polarizing still and why is Newton so beloved? Simple: Newton named what we could see before us and even gave it a mathematically precise expression that allowed us to predict and control our futures (see movie: Apollo 13) but he never actually explained 'why' it happened or what caused it. In fact as you'll see below, he was so PC (politically correct) and frightened of the religious powers that be after what had happened to Galileo, that Newton even allowed for divine intervention. Darwin, on the other hand, explained the why of something that many people did NOT ever want explained except by old worn out myths (every culture in existence before and during the Old Testament days has its creation myth and flood myth and most of them are remarkably similar). But Darwin did NOT give us the mathematics to prove his theory, nor for the most part any useful ways to exploit it. The discovery of DNA in modern times may finally allow Darwin's theory the blessing of predictability that turn ideas from hypotheses into cold hard applied science since now the microscopic driving force of evolution is starkly evident. Tomorrow let us see a fundamentalist whose newborn is saved from certain miserable death by gene splicing claim that the world is 4004, or however many, years old and that there was 'only' the one creation going on as a literal interpretation of the OT would have one thinking. Before we get to the nitty gritty . . . you do realize that Darwin was not alone in his writing, what about Wallace who also wrote on natural selection at the same time? Both men respected each other and independently published summaries of their ideas as early as 1858. Wallace was definitely a theist while Darwin was an agnostic so everyone referring to Darwin and leaving out Wallace misses the point that evolution is NOT atheistic NOT an anti-religious concept as the fundamentalist fools would have you believe. True spirituality is NOT inconsistent with faith or with science. Besides being a well-educated man in general science, Darwin studied Divinity and Medicine. He was extremely well-read and compared different aspects of natural selection to ideas within Malthus' book on population and Adam Smith's economic theories as well as to Newton's theory of gravity. The so-called 'false analogy' Darwin stated is often criticized because gravity has a strict mathematical description and 'descent with modification' (Darwin didn't even use the term 'evolution' till near the end of the book) is an abstracted hypothesis Darwin used to explain the differences and similarities found in all living creatures and to speculate upon their most likely cause. However, those of us who've seen the movie "A Beautiful Mind" realize that John Nash's economic theories and the mathematics behind them have recently come to be used in explaining many aspects of the Theory of Evolution, so Darwin may someday engender nearly as much mathematical respect as Newton. And it is also mathematics that underscores the human genome Of course in fairness to Darwin, gravity is about as simple a phenomena as exists in nature while natural selection explains variety in one of the most highly complex phenomena we know: organic life forms. Newton did, after all, say that some perturbations in the results of using his gravitational formula could be explained by the hand of God, so we can forgive evolutionists their present lack of precision. The most significant thing we can say about Darwin is that unlike his so-called Christian detractors (I see nothing 'Christlike in the vast majority of them) Darwin has actually concocted a very spiritual theory and was at all times a seeker while let's discuss two thousand years of Christian history rife with Christians slandering Christians, pagans, Jews, etc.; burning books; burning and torturing opponents (many of them fellow Christians) believing in witches; stealing outright the Old Testament as their own literature after the OT stole stories like the flood, etc. from older religions; or worst of all; the Natural Selection and survival of the species that created our four Gospels (and none of the other thirty potential ones discovered so far) especially the utter fabrications of Matthew who clearly went into the OT searching for prophecy that he could use to explain Christ as a fulfillment of OT prophecy and did a pretty poor job of the fabrication at that. I'm quite sure that Jesus Christ would disown Christianity as we see it today. Nevertheless, Catholicism, Protestantism, Mormonism, etc. all prove that the 'fittest' superstitions have survived to ensnare victims today. 'tis too bad Jesus never had a biographer with Darwin's drive, attention to truth and detail and utter integrity . . . if he did, so much about Jesus would not be lost or adulterated. Just hear Darwin's own words as he says that his writing is NOT actually 'fair' nor a balanced presentation of the facts and arguments: "I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question . . ." When have you ever heard a fundamentalist argue with 1/10 the integrity of Darwin?"
Brer Buffalo :
"So there you are comparing apples and oranges"
Shimmy :

There is a hypothesis that when light is reflected from the black to white stripes of a zebra, and approaching tse-tse fly becomes confused. The fly has difficulty finding its way to the beast to bite it. As a result, and scientists have documented this, zebras are only inferequently infected by the parasite Plasmodium, a unicellular parasite carried by the tse-tse fly. How would Darwin have explained the evolution of the Zebra's stripes from an ancestral population?

dont ask me :
"First, Plasmodium is not transmitted by the tsetse fly. Instead the organism is Trypanosoma (African sleeping sickness). I think Darwin would say the stripes arose from a mutation in the ancestral population. This mutation increased the fitness of the animal by making them less susceptible to the pathogen. Thus, this mutation would increase fitness and reproductive success and get passed on to the next generation."
Lucas C :
"I've never heard the story about the tsetse fly. I've always heard that zebras' coloration patterns helps to break up the outlines of the herd and confuse potential predators. That might not be their ONLY purpose, but I can definitely see how striped zebras would have a selective advantage over non-striped zebras. I hope that helps. Good luck!"
gardengallivant :
"Zebra ancestors probably existed with a range of possible colorations but out of the many offspring the individuals that inherited the least tsetse attractive colors and patterns had better chances of avoiding the nagana disease the flies transmit. The original zebra population produced many offspring. Some of these offspring had a collection of traits, such as color, pattern & immunity that promoted their chances to avoid infection & survive infection long enough to reproduce and raise their own offspring. Their successful reproduction ensured their genetic traits would continue into future generations. This is a positive selection for these traits. Over time and many generations the entire population may come to express the trait when it is under strong positive selection with no countering negative selection. If the coloration or pattern had attracted predators or confused recognition by herd members it would have had negative selection acting. Instead it continued to be selected for with increasing specialization so the color & pattern was likely selected by several positive factors. To test this experiments evaluating various visual cues for tsetse flies offer supportive evidence. The tsetse uses visual cues to orient itself at close range. Research has prepared comparative baited traps to study the visual qualities that offer the greatest attraction to the fly. The flies response depends on "shape, size, movement, contrast versus background, color and pattern." Attractive visual bait factors have little in common with the usual hosts. The fly prefers unpatterned blue or red, and avoids ultraviolet and green-yellow. "The most attractive color is royal blue with a high reflectivity at 650 nm (mid blue) and low ultraviolet reflectivity, characteristics which are very unusual in nature....Uniformly colored bait attracts more tsetse flies than that with stripes and complex patterns" Other supporting evidence is found in the presence of striping coat patterns in current equine species. Further the quagga, the closest zebra relative, had markedly reduced striping. This would have been the beginning alleles, alleles for more or less striping, for selection to work on."
x j :

Here is the whole question. Darwin’s work built on the ideas of earlier scientists. Give two examples of scientists whose work laid the foundation for Darwin’s theory of evolution. Also, describe the nature of their contribution and how it affected the development of Darwin’s theory.

Daniel J :
Joan H :
"xj looks like Jack with a new name."
Jim :
""The first systematic presentation of evolution was put forth by the French scientist Jean Baptiste de Lamarck (1774-1829) in 1809. Lamarck described a mechanism by which he believed evolution could occur. This mechanism was known as "the inheritance of acquired characteristics." "Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), had not come up with the same idea in 1858. While living in the Malay Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, Wallace formulated his theory and wrote it in an essay""
oikos :
"Malthus, Lyell, and Wallace. There are references to evolution in the poetry of Erasmus Darwin, Charles's grandfather, but there is no indication that the poetry had any influence on him."


Comments on Darwin

Date: 2008-07-09 00:34:14

Many scientists admit that they've never read Darwin's "Origin of Species." What are they missing?

Date: 2008-07-09 00:34:14

The Giants sent Dick Tidrow to Chicago to get pitcher Danny Darwin. White Sox general manager Ron Schueler was interested in unloading any tradable piece of his roster. The way Schueler recalls it, he plied Tidrow with cocktails and had his caterers follow the Giants' executive around Comiskey Park with platters of delicacies - anything to keep him

Date: 2008-07-09 00:34:14

Tracking the online grudge campaign of Joseph Jaffe and the social media pissing matches of Kevin Rose and Robert Scoble. Joseph Jaffe even stops by to weigh in.

Date: 2008-07-09 00:34:14

This woman earns at least a nomination to the Darwin Awards.

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