Wednesday 31st January |
Following on from our philosophers’ theories of evolution two weeks ago, today we concentrated on the man himself, Charles Darwin. We watched some short videos about his adventures on the HMS Beagle to the Galapagos Islands, what he did and found there and the conclusions he came to.
His theory of Natural Selection as the process behind evolution is testable and observable FACT.
Darwin found about fifteen different species of finches on the Galapagos Islands. He noticed they were all similar but their beaks were all different shapes. He realised that the different beaks matched the different food available on each island. The finches which ate insects had skinny pointed beaks so they could pick them up better. Those that ate hard fruits had beaks that were sharp so they could get through the skin.
Darwin realised there was only one way this could have happened – their beaks must have adapted to their environment over time. This led him to another idea – the survival of the fittest. Darwin suggested that those plants and animals best suited to their environment are more likely to survive and pass on their characteristics to their offspring.