It was a great opportunity to Janet Browne this week to Discuss more about Darwin and Origin of his works. With her discussions in class, she seemed to have immersed her life in studying Darwin’s work by writing and reading a lot about Darwin. From reading her book, ‘Origin of Species,’ I got to learn a lot about Darwin from his childhood and his family and how it all influenced who he later became in his life
Darwin’s experience, growing up in a religious background sparked my childhood experiences. I was brought up in a Christian family and went to a Christian high school. In both places, there were emphasize of God creating the earth and all the things in it in six days in the form they are now. It was strange to learn about evolution in Biology classes in high school then move into a Christian Religious Education class that we were required to study as well. The expectation in Victorian Science did not include the possibility of any disprove in their religion and was a challenging a moment for Darwin during his upbringing and his career path.
Janet emphasis was that Darwin’s evolution interest probably originated from the Beagle voyage he had for five years. These five years gave him an opportunity to be away from his family and interact with nature and fellow naturalist. He had an opportunity to see geological activities, like the mountain erupting, experience of earthquake in 1835, and encounter with different groups of people which made him believe that there must be something more than nature. During this time, he kept notes on animal observation, plants, and geology which he sent them back to England for further study. It was impressive how careful Darwin was during this voyage to notice very detailed things and the incident of eating an ostrich when he suspected that that might have been the smallest ostrich and was willing to send the remaining part of the ostrich back home for further study.
When he moved from one region to another during his voyage, he was fascinated by the difference between organisms which were close to each other. He called them, “different varieties” which he later figured out that these those species were in that form because of the adaptation to that place. His experience with the ingenious people was fascinating to him in how those people were different from the Europeans.
I think therefore, that the aspect of being independent in life is important. Darwin leaving home for the voyage, his habit of thinking in silence and walking the sand walk gave him an opportunity to think about his work. I think if he had not gone on that voyage, he would have probably gone on a different career path in life, maybe become a clergy as his parents wanted him to be after Darwin dropped out of medical.
It is encouraging to see how much work has been done now which has roots in Darwin’s work. Medical field has improved a lot in gene modification to have a plants and animals who can adapt well to different places, which can be traced back to Darwin’s work.