Migration Made Me Do It

Darwin brings up many arguments for evolution. One of the major ones is found in the bodies of humans and animals. Darwin believes that all animals come from one ancestor. He explains that many of our ones are very similar. He also says that there are many characteristics that are useless. They may have been useful in the past, but through time have become unnecessary. Additionally, he talks about many animal embryos being similar (Darwin, 499-502). Darwin uses these arguments to show evidence of us coming from one ancestor and that differing structures are developed or stop being of use through natural selection. Moreover, he explains that patterns of migration are evidence of animals changing throughout time. He explains that bats that can cross the ocean would live on islands. This provides evidence that differing geological environments have decided how animals have evolved (Darwin, 484-499).


I think the most convincing thing about his document are his arguments about animals changing due to natural selection specifically the ones listed above. I found it interesting that he talks about a single ancestor and biological similarity in vestigial structures. I think I found his counterargument to fossilization is the least convincing part of his document. He talks about there being imperfection in the geological record. He says that only some classes of organic being can be fossilized (Darwin, 486-488). I think Darwin needs to be more specific or open up research on how some of these fossils and which organic classes are lost. Though this argument has nothing to do with his arguments for evolution, I did find it unconvincing that natural selection provides good reasoning for artificial selection (Darwin, 489).  Although it does cover with an easy ‘yes’ using artificial selection to fix diseases, it doesn’t give a fair look into the some of the ethical concerns involved.

2 thoughts on “Migration Made Me Do It”

  1. You have an interesting perspective on Darwin. I like how you included similarities in embryos and migration patterns in your argument, but disagree with you that imperfections in the geological record is a weak argument. It’s inconvenient for sure that we don’t have a perfect geological record to document faunal succession for the last 4 billion years, but it is true unfortunately. I don’t really know how he could be more specific or do research on organisms that we have no proof existed due to these geologic imperfections? We now have technology that accurately dates the ages of different rocks, which proves that there is discontinuity in all stratigraphic columns examined to date. If anything, I think that Darwin’s choice to present arguments against his claim, makes him more credible because he’s thought about all angles pertaining to descent with modification.

  2. Darwin stating that many animals had similar physical traits was very interesting because the facts that Darwin used can help all humans realize that humans are not that distant from other animals. I also find it fascinating that evolution has come so far from the one main ancestor and our fish-like ancestors before those organisms eventually grew legs. I completely agree that Darwin should have been more specific when talking about what organisms are able to leave fossils or the environment that produces the best fossils. I also found the rhetoric used by Darwin to be very confusing, as there were many large words followed by another, but I should not complain as Darwin was just writing in Victorian English. I also think that hard evidence is needed to change any one person’s views on a subject. Watching primates do anything is just like watching hairier, non-self-conscious humans.

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