Monday, August 4, 2014

My Year of Darwin: 8/4/2014 On the Origin of Species.. the beginning

 Charles Darwin

"When on board H.M.S. 'Beagle,' as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts seemed to throw some light on the origin of species - that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers." Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

So I'll begin on Origin of Species. I had been reading through his autobiography and some letters and they all have led up to this point. Origin may take me to the end of the year. No matter. 

Some things of note here. He identifies himself as the ship's naturalist when he originally was not but became it after the ship's medical doctor left. He identifies the two observation that really drove him to natural selection: distribution of extant organisms in South America and a comparison with extinct species. 

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