Every time we hear about Darwinism or evolution theory, we always think about Charles Darwin, who was an English naturalist and geologist and contributed a lot to the science of evolution. His theory was so revolutionary that it not only influenced the world of science, but also the world of business, economics, and even social revolution in modern China and Japan.

However, from the lecture given by Dr. Janet Browne, she pointed out that Charles Darwin was not the only one who thought about evolution theory. Other scientists such as Thomas Henry Huxley also helped formulate and articulate the evolution theory. For example, we all have seen today a famous picture about evolution, which shows a trend from gorilla to human beings. But it was painted by Huxley instead of Darwin. Another example was about a quote that is often attributed to Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” A lot of businessmen use it to make business decisions. However, Charles Darwin did not say that.

According to Dr. Browne, when Darwin first proposed this evolution theory, he realized that if people started to accept it, the whole world would change. However, his influence was just among those who believed this theory. Then, after the death of Darwin, other scientists started to include his theory in their theories, so Darwin’s ideas started to spread. Right now, everyone could understand this theory and know about Darwin. However, this theory was not only about Darwin, but also the help from other scientists.

After the lecture, I begin to consider how different theories developed. First of all, someone needs to come up with new ideas for something. It has to be different or opposite for stereotypical thinking. Secondly, some people may agree with them, and some people may disagree with them. Thirdly, other people started to evaluate them and investigate them, trying to further prove that they were valid. Meanwhile, they were also promoting and spreading these ideas. In the end, some theories won and some lose. Then we had our modern science.

Dr. Browne also mentioned a point that we might be romanticizing Darwin’s contribution to this theory. We might also need to think this kind of romanticizing more critically. According to Dr. Browne, right now, a lot of companies used it as a motivation; even restaurants or café use it as their name or brand. Darwin is so well-known that he became a sort of spirit or logo. It’s also very interesting if we think about how theory evolved from a simple idea to a brand.

In the end, Dr. Browne’s lecture really made me rethink Darwinism, the evolution theory, and Charles Darwin as a person. And I also realized how deep and broad that the history of science can be. A single idea may have many implications and influences on various aspects of our society.