Ideas in Evolution

  • Birth of Charles Darwin

    Birth of Charles Darwin
    Description: Born in Shrewsbury, England, the son of Robert Waring Darwin and Susannah, nee Wedgwood.
    Significance: The birth of a legend, Charles Darwin lived a somewhat sheltered life, with famous grand parents on both sides. (See Robert Darwin, Susannah Darwin)
  • Early Schooling

    Early Schooling
    Description: Attends Samuel Butler’s school at Shrewsbury as a boarder (stayed 7 years).
    Significance: Butler was the grandfather of Samuel Butler (1835-1902) the science writer and critic of Darwinism.
    (See Shrewsbury, Butler)
  • Beginning of his University experience with Brother Erasmus

    Beginning of his University experience with Brother Erasmus
    Desription: Darwin was taken away early from Shrewsbury School by his father. On 22 October matriculates with his brother Erasmus at the University of Edinburgh. Registers for medical courses. First lecture on 26 October. Lodged at 11 Lothian St.
    Significance: He was being forced to follow the path of his successful grandfather. (See Erasmus Darwin)
  • Passing University Exams, further drifting from his fathers expectations

    Passing University Exams, further drifting from his fathers expectations
    Description: Passes his BA examinations without honours and remains at Cambridge for a further two terms to fulfill residence requirement. Spends much time with Henslow, and in August accompanies Adam Sedgwick, Professor of Geology, on his annual field trip to Wales.
    Significance: He was to study for the clergy. Darwin was more interested, however, in beetle collecting than theology. (See Sedwick)
  • HMS Beagle takeoff, Working as an unpaid Naturalist

    HMS Beagle takeoff, Working as an unpaid Naturalist
    Description: Invited by Capt. Robert Fitz-Roy. Begins Beagle diary. After two false starts, the ship leaves Plymouth.
    Significance: Finally he persuaded his father to let him attend the most influencial trip of his lifetime where he would emerge in different cultures and develop his theories, after being urged by his uncle, Wedgwood II. He had planned for a 1 year around South America, turned into a 5 year voyage to Austrailia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands as well. (See HMS Beagle,Roy)
  • Travelling Brazil

    Travelling Brazil
    Description: From the end of February to the beginning of July, Darwin travelled Brazil. He experienced slavery for the first time, as well as many different species that he had never seen before in the jungles. Darwin also wrote entries about the importance of geology.
    Significance: I believe this was a time of absorbtion for Darwin, He began thinking about new concepts and ideas due to his new input in different fields. (See geology)
  • Andes

    Description: The Beagle, having completed the charting of the east coast of South America, passed into the Pacific. While investigating the Andes near Santiago, Darwin became ill, probably through an insect bite.
    Significance: In his diary, Darwin commented that the tropical disease haunted him for the rest of his life. I believe he first acknowledged the fragileness of a human life.
  • Galapagos Island

    Galapagos Island
    Description: The Beagle arrived at Galapagos Island, off the coast of Ecuador, where Darwin made many observations and collected specimens.
    Significance: Many of these specimans were examples in later years of natural selection. (See Darwin's Finches)
  • Arrival in the Island's of New Zealand's North

    Arrival in the Island's of New Zealand's North
    Description: Darwin is intrigued by the indigenous peoples and the Christian's impact on their lifestyles.
    Significance: He considers the effect of migratitation and adapting to a new culture. I believe he compared his observations of humans to the observations of finches and other species considering natural selection. (See Natural Selection)
  • Struggle for Survival (Austrailia)

    Struggle for Survival (Austrailia)
    Description: During a drought stricken summer the Beagle arrived in Australia.
    Significance: Darwin first observes the stuggle for existence.
  • Beagle sails into Indian ocean (Cocos and Keeling)

    Beagle sails into Indian ocean (Cocos and Keeling)
    Description: Beagle sails into Indian ocean and stops in Cocos and Keeling. He observes the land beneath the coral subsiding which forces the coral polyps to reach towards the surface.
    Significance: Darwin considers the connections of the coral reefs to the species which co exist with it. Both must adapt to eachother in order to survive.
  • Home

    Description: Darwin arrives back in England at a time of great change.
    Significance: He will now establish his name as a scientist, at a time of great change, Darwin will never leave his home again.
  • Gould's Finches

    Description: Darwin collected different types of finches from the Galapagos Islands. He gave them to ornithologist John Gould for observation.
    Significance: Darwin used this information of different species and beak shape etc. as proof of natural selection and what his grandfather Erasmus had instilled in him at a young age, evolution.
  • Working in Secret

    Description: Darwin dedicated the next two years of his life towards brainstorming ideas of his findings in secret notebooks.
    Significance: Now as a recognized member of the scientific community, Darwin feared skepticism of his ideas in the Victorian era.
  • Impact of Thomas Malthus

    Desription: Malthus commented that humans have a stuggle for survival because they reproduce more than avaliable resources.
    Significance: Darwin concluded that this theory recognizes evolution and would shape his ideas about the comparison of humans to animals in the fight for survival.
  • Zoology of the Voyage of the HMS Beagle

    Description: Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle edited by Darwin, published in five volumes.
    Significance: Now proudly significant Darwin has the financial stability to continue focusing on his theories.
  • Hooker's first contributions

    Hooker's first contributions
    Description: After completing a 189 page essay about his theories, Darwin claims to only feel comfortable giving Hooker the daunting task of reading it. He also advised Darwin to focus and prove his theories while working with one specific organism.
    Significance: I believe that this trust of his work strengthened their relationship and made Hooker extremely meticulous when concerning Darwin's work. This was forshadowing for Darwin's work with Banicles. (See Joseph Hooker)
  • Period: to

    Darwin's meticulous work with Barnicles consumes every waking hour

  • Darwin Meets Huxley

    Description: Huxley became a fantastic marine biologist while spending a four year voyage on the HMS Rattlesnake, around Austrailia and New Guinea.
    Significance: This relationship would give Darwin a voice in the scientific community. (See Huxley)
  • Period: to

    Distribution of Species

    Description: Darwin experiments with the distribution of species. He was testing how organisms do not agree with the old perception that God placed them in one set location.
    Significance: Darwin was futhering himself from the church, he thought that species move around the globe and are forced to adapt based on their environment.
  • Wallace delerious with Malaria explains natural selection in 20 pages

    Description: Although Wallace's first paper had little effect on Darwin because it lacked a true explanation of his thoughts; his second essay summarizes all the key points Darwin was trying to make through years of research.
    Significance: Darwin begins to panic and his supporters must save the situation by publishing Wallace and Darwin together.
  • Darwin recieves Wallace's Evolution Paper

    Description: While collecting specimans from around the Southern Hemisphere, Wallace was pondering the very same evolution thoughts as Darwin.
    Significance: This newly obtained knowledge that another human had considered the same thoughts as Darwin, pressured Darwin into publishing. He figured that it was possible for all of his work to be unacknowledged. Whereas in truth Darwin's work was actually thought to be confirmed by Wallaces contributions. (See Wallace)
  • Darwin's pigeons

    Darwin's pigeons
    Description: Darwin has now been urged by his companions to publish. But before going public, Darwin decides to test his theory one last time with pigeons. He had been paying very close attention to the selection process of pigeon breeders.
    Significance: Darwin just needed one final boost of confidence, to convince his friends (Huxley and Hooker) that natural selection is real. (See Natural Selection, Artificial Selection)
  • Wallace and Darwin

    Wallace and Darwin
    Description: Charles Lyell and Joseph Dalton Hooker arranged for both Darwin's and Wallace's theories to be presented to a meeting of the Linnaean Society.
    Significance: Wallace was given recognition for his contributions and Darwin's idea seemed verifiable. Both scientists stirred an interest the scientific community.
  • "On the Origin of Species"

    "On the Origin of Species"
    Description: Darwin spent the year cutting down his manuscript to a readable length. At the heart of the book he stated that sinc ethe Earth has been in existance life has been in a constant state of change.
    Significance: Finally published, selling for 14 shillings in London, Darwin can now wait for reviews of his work.
  • Battle with the Chruch Based Scientific Establishment

    Description: The Chruch Based Scientific Establishment convenes a conference at Oxford University, with Darwin's thoeries as a top priority of discussion. Samuel Wilberforce argues Darwin's ideas but was challenged by Huxley in a legendary debate, which Huxley results in leading.
    Significance: This allows for all pessimistic views on Darwin's ideas be challenged and dethrowns the bishop.