This Day in History – November 24th, 1859

Around the world there are many who recognize today as “Evolution Day,” as it is the anniversary of the first publication of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin on November 24th, 1859.

Charles_DarwinCharles Robert Darwin, (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors,and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence with On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favored competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin’s scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.

Darwin 10 pound

Darwin Pound CoinDarwin’s writing on Evolution are widely accepted around the globe, yet 155 years later the debate still continues in the United States of America as the “Creationists” continue to insist that religious origins myths be taught alongside Evolution. In Britain at least, no such debate exists and Darwin has been honored twice by appearing on British currency.

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