Saturday, December 16

Charles Darwin: The Father of Evolution – Part 2

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Though Charles Darwin eventually died on April 19, 1882, in Kent, his legacy is still very prevalent in science today. Darwin’s theory of evolution spurred many other scientists to look further into life’s evolutionary tree. One example would be A.I. Oparin and J.B.S Haldane, who each hypothesized in the 1920s that due to the conditions of early earth, organic compounds could form without being destroyed by molecular oxygen. In the 1950s, Stanley Miller and Harold Urey actually conducted experiments to test whether the earliest form of life could have been formed from inorganic compounds. Thus, Darwin’s theory of evolution heavily influenced the work of many other scientists.

Today, evolution is considered to be single unifying theory in the field of the biological sciences. With rapid development in technology, scientists are able to use Mendel’s work in genetics to further provide evidence for Darwinism. By comparing the genetic material of ancestors and descendants, researchers are able to accurately study the connection between species. With a better understanding of evolution, scientists can understand how to use technology to the best of human interests. For example, in agriculture, researchers are able to use genetics to force the evolutionary process to provide better crop yields. By altering the “gene pool”, farmers are able to force the offspring of livestock or crops to “evolve’ to best suit their needs. Darwin’s work in evolution is also invaluable in the field of medicine. With the idea of Darwinism, researchers are able to understand the causes of different strands of diseases. For example, through evolution the flu virus mutates every year to become resistant to medications of previous years. Thus by studying the patterns of mutation in the virus, doctors are able to produce a vaccine before each annual onslaught. Darwin’s theory of evolution still plays an essential role in today’s advancement in science.

Though once a controversial idea, Darwin’s contribution in science through his work On the Origin of Species remains indispensable for researchers today. With the aid of his fellow scientists, Darwin successfully depicted the history of life.


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