170px editorial cartoon depicting charles darwin as an ape (1871)

Theory of evolution

  • Period: to

    Timeline of thought behind Evolution

  • Comte de Buffon

    Comte de Buffon
    in the course of his examination of the animal world, Buffon noted that despite similar environments, different regions have distinct plants and animals, a concept later known as Buffon's Law. He made the suggestion that species may have both "improved" and "degenerated" after dispersing from a center of creation.
  • Georges Cuvier (Specific date unknown)

    Georges Cuvier (Specific date unknown)
    Cuvier presented his 1796 paper on living and fossil elephants, it was still widely believed that no species of animal had ever become extinct. Authorities such as Buffon had claimed that fossils found in Europe of animals such as the woolly rhinoceros and mammoth were remains of animals still living in the tropics (i.e. rhinoceros and elephants), which had shifted out of Europe and Asia as the earth became cooler. Cuvier's early work demonstrated conclusively that this was not the case
  • Essay on the Principle of Population

    Essay on the Principle of Population
    published anonymously in 1798. (Later Thomas Robert Malthus) This theory suggested that growing population rates would contribute to a rising supply of labour that would inevitably lower wages. In essence, Malthus feared that continued population growth would lend itself to poverty. Both Darwin and Wallace thought as malthus as a Great man, and had helped them with there own ideas
  • Lamarck (no specific date)

     Lamarck (no specific date)
    Caompared fossils to modern species, these species increase with complexity until perfect. wrote 3 books on this and other theorys
    Recherches sur l'organisation des corps vivants, 1802.
    Philosophie Zoologique, 1809.
    Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertèbres, (in seven volumes, 1815–1822).
  • Catastrophism(Specific Date unknown)

    Catastrophism(Specific Date unknown)
    Cuvier published some papers on Catastrophism, stated that changes to the life and geography of the earth was changed by not one single Catastophic event but several
  • Charles Lyell

    Charles Lyell
    1830-33) Publishes his multi-volume Principles of Geology book.He was, along with the earlier John Playfair, the major advocate of James Hutton's idea of uniformitarianism, that the earth was shaped entirely by slow-moving forces still in operation today, acting over a very long period of time. This was in contrast to catastrophism
  • H.M.S. Beagle Leaves

    H.M.S. Beagle Leaves
    On the morning of 27 December 1831, H.M.S. Beagle, with a crew of seventy-three men, sailed out of Plymouth harbor under a calm easterly wind and drizzly rain. Darwin became seasick almost immediately and started to have second thoughts about the voyage.
  • Period: to

    H.M.S. Beagle's Voyage

    H.M.S Beagle's seconds voyage, the first with Charles Darwin
  • Santa Cruz

    Santa Cruz
    the Beagle arrived at the port of Santa Cruz at Tenerife Island (where Darwin had formally planned to visit with his friend Ramsay). Just as they released anchor, a small boat from the Health Office came out to meet the Beagle and an officer informed Capt. FitzRoy that they were prevented from going ashore due to a cholera outbreak in England. The crew of the Beagle would have to wait out a quarantine period of twelve days.Capt. FitzRoy, eager that no time would be lost on their primary mission,
  • Cape Verde Islands

    Cape Verde Islands
    H.M.S. Beagle arrived at the Cape Verde Islands on 16 January and anchored at Porto Praya, on the island of Santiago (spelled St. Jago, in Darwin's narrative). Darwin made detailed observations of a cuttle-fish that populated the tide pools around the island, and was fascinated by their ability to change colors. He wrote with much excitement to Revd. Henslow about his discovery of a strange animal that could change colors at will.
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

     Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    On 8 April Darwin went off exploring in the tropical rain forest with Patrick Lennon, a local English merchant, and five others. They explored about one-hundred miles up the coast from Rio de Janeiro. On 8 April Darwin went off exploring in the tropical rain forest with Patrick Lennon, a local English merchant, and five others. They explored about one-hundred miles up the coast from Rio de Janeiro
  • Patagonia

    Always eager to get off the ship, Darwin spent many weeks collecting fossils in Patagonia, and found huge fossil bones in a cliff at Punta Alta. Darwin knew very little about paleontology, but he figured any fossils he collected may be of some interest to the experts back in England. When Darwin came back onboard Capt. FitzRoy had a difficult time understanding why he was bringing all sorts of "useless junk" on the ship. The fossils he collected at Punta Alta turned out to be giant rodent-like a
  • Maldonado

    Darwin went on shore at Maldonado but found it to be a depressing and dull little place. He found that he could make it appear somewhat appealing only by comparing it to being cooped up in the Beagle. On 2 April 1833 he went on a twelve day expedition into the interior with two hired guides and a team of a dozen horses. Along the way he collected a large number of exotic animals, birds, and reptiles, and saw many herds of ostrich on the pampas
  • Capt. FitzRoy

    No date specifidded!
    While recovering from his illness, Darwin learned that Capt. FitzRoy had suffered a nervous breakdown. Apparently, the massive amount of charting that had been done, as well as refitting the Adventure, had worn him down. His survey work was also continuously being interrupted by the captains of passing ships. To make matters worse, news arrived that the Admiralty was quite upset with him for buying the Adventure without their permission.
  • Capt. FitzRoy 2

    If FitzRoy had not resumed command of the Beagle and Wickham followed orders, Charles Darwin would never have visited the Galapagos Islands, an event that had a profound impact on the theory of evolution he would later develop. What would Darwin have done if FitzRoy did not resume command of the Beagle? Well, Darwin wrote in a letter to his sister, Catherine, (CCD:1, page 417, on 8 Nov 1834) that he made plans to set off on his own. He would explore the Cordilleras Range during the coming summer
  • Second Andes expedition

    On March 18th at 4:00 in the morning Darwin started out on his second Andes expedition, finding Shell fossils 19,000 feet above sea leval!
  • Galapagos Archipelago

    Galapagos Archipelago
    First sight of the Galapagos Islands
    Some of the specimens Darwin collected from the Galapagos: One buzzard, two owls, three flycatchers, one Sylvicola, three species of mockingbirds, one species of finch, one swallow, one dove, 13 species of finches (Darwin remarked how fascinated he was by the beak gradations, but the variation of finches confused Darwin a great deal), one turtle, one tortoise, four lizards (sea and land iguanas and two other types), four snakes, and very few insects.
  • Home

    HMS Beagle finally arrived home after a voyage of four years, nine months, five days. They docked at Falmouth, England around 9:00 in the evening during a mild rain storm. Darwin set off immediately for Shrewsbury.
  • Darwin starts

    Darwin starts to unveil the evidence... a jouny that will take 20 years
  • Wallace Idea (date uknown)

    Wallace Idea (date uknown)
    "The problem then was not only how and why do species change, but how and why do they change into new and well defined species, distinguished from each other in so many ways; why and how they become so exactly adapted to distinct modes of life; and why do all the intermediate grades die out (as geology shows they have died out) and leave only clearly defined and well marked species, genera, and higher groups of animals?"
  • The Letter

    The Letter
    Darwin received the manuscript from Wallace. While Wallace's essay did not employ Darwin's term "natural selection", it did outline the mechanics of an evolutionary divergence of species from similar ones due to environmental pressures. In this sense, it was very similar to the theory that Darwin had worked on for twenty years, but had yet to publish.
  • On the Origin of Species

    On the Origin of Species
    Darwin's Book is published, with a co-founder of wallace in the idea of natural selection