Read The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin Free Online
Book Title: The Descent of Man|
The author of the book: Charles Darwin
ISBN 13: 9781573921763
Edition: Prometheus Books
Date of issue: December 1st 1997
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.11 MB
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In The Descent of Man (1871, 1874) Charles Darwin (1809-1882) focused special attention on the origin and history of our own species, a subject he had avoided in his previous writings on evolution. He claimed that the human animal is closest in ancestry to the two African "pongids," or anthropoid apes (chimpanzees and gorillas). Further, Darwin held that our species and these two pongids differ merely in degree rather than in kind - a controversial view that contradicted religious doctrine. The Descent of Man looks at the emergence of humans in terms of primate evolution. Darwin presents a strictly mechanistic and materialist interpretation of our species that is free from superstition and spiritualism.
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Read information about the authorCharles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist, eminent as a collector and geologist, who proposed and provided scientific evidence that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors through the process he called natural selection. The fact that evolution occurs became accepted by the scientific community and the general public in his lifetime, while his theory of natural selection came to be widely seen as the primary explanation of the process of evolution in the 1930s, and now forms the basis of modern evolutionary theory. In modified form, Darwin’s scientific discovery remains the foundation of biology, as it provides a unifying logical explanation for the diversity of life.
Darwin developed his interest in natural history while studying medicine at Edinburgh University, then theology at Cambridge. His five-year voyage on the Beagle established him as a geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell’s uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author. Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin investigated the transmutation of species and conceived his theory of natural selection in 1838. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority. He was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay which described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories.
His 1859 book On the Origin of Species established evolution by common descent as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. He examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. His research on plants was published in a series of books, and in his final book, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil.
In recognition of Darwin’s pre-eminence, he was one of only five 19th century UK non-royal personages to be honoured by a state funeral, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, close to John Herschel and Isaac Newton.
(Arabic: تشارلز داروين)
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