Darwin-er Winner, Chicken Dinner.

Darwin’s final arguments, meant to summarize his view and convince his readers, began with a few statements that he thinks everyone would agree with. The first being that nature has variation. Species of birds can have variations without being an entirely kind, as well as the reverse. He also expected it to be excepted that all species, no matter where or what, are always in a fight for survival, no matter how minor, and that, as a result, different species are in competition for resources since they will have different strengths and weaknesses. In his argument for natural selection, he wasn’t saying that one day, all parrots woke up with curved beaks, but that rather, the parrots that did have them (through an anomaly in breeding, for example) were better able to survive and had more offspring than their competitors. Eventually, as generations passed, the differences between groups would become so great that they could no longer interbreed, and then they should be considered different species.
I don’t need much convincing personally, but the part of  the argument that strikes me as the most most interesting and in that way, the most convincing, is when he referenced how animals that have been thrown into an environment they aren’t adapted too or aren’t suited for can lose their fertility- such as certain species held in captivity, even if they are being held not far from where they used to live and in superficially similar conditions. There is a lot of factors that we don’t know or understand, but if something like that can hinder the production of offspring, it isn’t hard to imagine that small changes over time (to the environment) can change how a species expresses traits so that it can continue to survive and produce offspring.

2 thoughts on “Darwin-er Winner, Chicken Dinner.”

  1. Natalie, I loved your summary of Darwin’s argument because the arguments you pointed out are the concrete foundation of his overarching argument for natural selection. These points you discussed set up Darwin to dive into his discussion on a possibly inaccurate geologic record that couldn’t support his claims. More so, I loved your opinion on how influential an organisms’ environment is on its offspring and its variation. It is incredible how breeding an animal even right next to its natural environment, but within captivity, greatly changes the variations that occur in its offspring. Also, as you stated, it certainly makes it fathomable how even the most minimal, yet favorable, variations come about strictly due to environmental variables. I must side with you that I do not need much convincing to believe in the mechanism of natural selection, but Darwin’s thoroughly concocted argument provides an exceptional amount of clarity that many people should at least skim through to gain a better understanding of biology and history.

  2. Good evening,
    I was very impressed with your summary of the various arguments Darwin pushed in his final chapter of the Origin of Species. You made the key points very clear while doing a good job of keeping it a summary. I, too, did not need much convincing for the argument of evolution but my argument was strengthened by reading this chapter. It was certainly very interesting to read about how animals who are thrown into new environments are severely impacted. This impactful change in environment brings about adaptations and traits that probably would not have existed otherwise. The continuation of traits that aid in survival is always changing along with the environment that species lives and/or is put in.

Comments are closed.