Charles Darwin on the Origin of Species Research
Darwin used his 1859 published book On the Origin of Species to give his main views on evolution of no only the human beings but a range of other species as well. Among the issues covered in his writing are the subjects of instinct and occurrence of variations that influence the natural selection process. In the subject of instincts, Darwin acknowledged in his writing that instincts were more or less similar to habits. Darwin illustrated how behaviors could evolve similar to physical structures. He also explained cruelty in nature by using examples of ‘slave-making’ ants, parasitic wasps, and cuckoo birds laying eggs in the nest of another. Darwin just needed to prove that a habitual action can be inherited making the difference between an instinct from a habit very vague.
However, he presents another argument using Mozart as an example. Given that Mozart used his instincts to learn to play piano, it is impossible for such a habit to be acquired through his generations (187). That is why Darwin argues that instinct is specific for a given animal and cannot be used for the good of others. After examining the role of instinct in the story of evolution, Darwin concludes that instincts do vary. In a nutshell, there is tangible variation on the observation in domesticated species as opposed to the wild species. As a result, there is an emergent belief that this would be as a result of variations in climate, excess of food, and treatment as well. However, Darwin considers these influences as being insufficient, thus calls for further research.
In other words, if the above features would have been sufficient, there would be evidence of the plants and animals being exposed to the factors on climate, exercise, and food for a range of generations to lead to any amount of variation. Further, even some of the oldest domestic animals and plants may have been showing signs and symptoms of variation even with the consistence of the environmental conditions. His is proof enough that variations which are unnoticeable at first sight have the potential of growing to the stature of an emergent subspecies of breed of some organisms (Darwin 51). Additionally, the snowballing resultant of unconscious and conscious selection specifically on species has stirred the emergency of more variation in domestic organisms as opposed to wild species as a result of passive and active rolls in breeding to foster or discourage specific traits.
It is essential noting that for a clear and vivid understanding of Darwin’s principals on natural selection and its applicability on domestic species and the species in the world, some factors in his book has to be taken into key consideration. For instance, he argues that there is a prolonged inherent struggle when it comes to the discussion of debating on this issue of evolution when terms such as varieties and species are applied within species, are ambiguously defined. This leads to the introduction and use of the term ‘monstrosities’ which refers to the differences in the structure of an organism, which are always harmful or useless; however, they can be important and have the ability to be passed to the following generations.
As a result, Darwin termed the principal by which each simple and single useful variation is preserved ‘natural selection’ so as to show its relation to human’s supremacy of selection. However, to many people, especially in the layman’s understanding, the latter is referred to ‘survival for the fittest’. This depicts that in natural selection, the most important aspect is an organism’s survival and the leaving of survival offspring after death. Even when climatic factors behave in a more favorable way for survival, one or more members may have a variation which aids them in prospering over the rest and in turn outdo the original for valuable resources. When climates behave in favor of a species, the individuals struggle against themselves, and when it is extreme, they struggle against it.
So far, it is prudent to argue that in his research, Darwin laid much concern on traits that foster the development of species as they offer them a higher survival chance. However, he later discusses on sexual selection where he opines that regardless of the fact that a trait may not be so helpful to an organism’s survival, it may lead to them having more offspring than expected. For instance, in some birds of bliss, the female is not sexually won by ferocity but rather in a gregarious depiction of the male’s humbleness. This could possibly one of the main factors adding up to the differentiation usually evidenced between sexes of one species. Further, flowers, birds, and bees are perfect examples on how variations in a certain species may help another and as a result of communal advantageous traits species could evolve in vastly.
In other words, the extinction risk is greater with rarer species as opposed to more common ones since within their populace pool there are limited chances for modifications and variation will take much time to occur. On the other hand, the divergence of character that might define a range of varieties many after multiple generations and hundreds of centuries develop to differentiate species. As a result, advantageous traits will develop over time, whereas others may become extinct. Featuring on species’ advancement, Darwin lay much attention on the way any lowly organized forms are still existent in nature. Regardless of the fact that the philosopher agrees with the argument that there is much to be researched on in the question at hand, Darwin insists that in specific life conditions a high organization of life could be of no use.
Regardless of the fact that this is yet to be proven, Darwin opines that there are many instances where the latter seems to have occurred and passed on to the next generations and its possibility is therefore in-dismissible. Natural selection may equally play an essential role for instance in the case of Spanish mole where fur and skin have evolved to build up generations possibly helping its survival especially in regard to disease protection since it resides underground, however, leading to its blindness due to eye disuse. Acclimatization also dominated much of Darwin’s later works on evolution research. The amount of adaptation is always stated, however, in cases it is inexistent. One of the primary reasons as to why acclimatization is evident in domesticated species is that there is crossing of dissimilar wild stock.
This is a question that Darwin answers by explaining that like natural selection reserves gainful modifications, extinction also occurs in the same way as it works in diminishing the less profitable qualities in a species. Nevertheless, to accrue all the numerous transformations required for the distinction of why they are not found in many suppressed in the crust of the earth. This is often attributed to inadequacies in the record of geologists. As members of a particular species relocate to different environmental settings the conditions favor various traits which in time lead to the species’ divergence. As his takes place, new characteristics are acquired hence the species gets to be better suited for their environments whereas the transitional varieties become non-existent as time goes by.
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