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But transmutation also had early champions, including Darwin’s grandfather, the famed Birmingham physician Erasmus Darwin.
This evolution, Darwin wrote, is due to two factors.
The first factor, Darwin argued, is that each individual animal is marked by subtle differences that distinguish it from its parents.
This vast and varied collection of papers includes the first draft of his theory of evolution, notes from the and Emma Darwin's recipe book.
We are extremely grateful for the kind permission of Cambridge University Library to reproduce these online.
For decades available only to scholars at Cambridge University Library, the private papers of Charles Darwin, one of the most influential scientists in history, can now be seen by anyone online and free of charge.
Charles Darwin Theory Of Evolution Research Paper How To Write Business Plan Proposal
This is the largest ever publication of Darwin papers and manuscripts, totalling about 20,000 items in over 100,000 electronic images.
Darwin, who called these differences “variations,” understood their effect but not their cause; the idea of genetic mutation, and indeed the scientific study of genetics, would not arise fully until the early 20th century.
The second factor, Darwin argued, is that although variations are random, some of them convey distinct advantages – superior camouflage, a heartier constitution or greater speed, for example – that better equip a creature to survive in its environment.
But even as a child, Darwin expressed an interest in nature.
Later, while studying botany at Cambridge University, he was offered a chance to work as an unpaid naturalist on the surveyed the coast of South America and stopped in such places as Australia and, most famously, the Galapagos Islands – Darwin took advantage of countless opportunities to observe plant and animal life and to collect both living and fossilized specimens for later study.