On Darwin’s “The Origin of Species”

Charles Darwin’s book “The Origin of Species” is probably one of the most significant scientific works which produced a great impact on human society, science, philosophy and general perception of human beings. In fact, it is possible to estimate that this book revolutionized traditional views on the development and origin of species, especially humans. At the same time, being published, this book provoked extremely controversial reaction and debate had been lasting for years and decades. Moreover, even nowadays, Charles Darwin’s theory clearly conveyed in the book is still argued and its credibility remains under a big question for many people.
Nevertheless, it is hardly possible to underestimate the significance of Charles Darwin “The Origin of Species” where he offered a revolutionary view on the origin of humans and other species. In fact, the key concept of his book is the notion of evolution. In his work, the author defended the position that all species in the world develop in the result of evolution which is constant and unstoppable. In the same way, he suggested, human beings also evolved and as the ancestors of the modern humans he considered apes.
Obviously, these ideas provoked quite a controversial reaction and often “The Origin of Species” simply provoked shock of wide audience as well as many specialists. However, it should be pointed out that the idea of evolution was not new but Charles Darwin was the first who attempted to present this theory on the scientific basis. What is more important he perfectly explained the mechanism of evolution by means of natural selection in the result of which only useful characteristics are inherited from generation to generation while useless gradually disappear in the process of evolution. In such a way species evolve and the changes may be as dramatic as it was in the case of humans which evolved into highly developed intellectual beings from apes. Consequently, he created a scientific basis for evolution which used to be perceived quite skeptically but his book had changed the view on this process substantially.
However, this book also provoked a strong protest and opposition from the part of wide audience and many theorists also attempted to contradict and totally reject ideas of Darwin which he presented in “The Origin of Species”. In this respect, the most serious opposition the book faced from theological dogmatists and conservative scientist. Remarkably, the opponents did not reject the mechanism of natural selection suggested by the scientist but they rejected the very concept of evolution. Theological dogmatists stood on their own theory of the divine origin of all species, including humans, on the earth and this was quite widely spread in the society.
On the other hand, there was a more scientific approach which criticized Darwin’s ideas. For instance, some scientists, on eventually accepting the concept of evolution, attacked Darwin’s idea that evolution is a gradual process. Instead, theorists suggested that evolution and new species arose through ‘jumps’ rather than gradual adaptation.
Thus, in conclusion, it is necessary to underline that Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” is really the book that had change the world and his ideas of evolution and natural selection, being widely criticized, were basically accepted as correct in general though debates concerning some points of his theory still remain open.

1. Clark, Ronald W. The Survival of Charles Darwin. New York: Avon Books, 1984.
2. Darwin, C. The Origin of Species. New York: Penguin Classics, 1996.
3. Desmond, Adrian and James Moore. Darwin. London: Penguin Group, 1991.

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