Darwin From Orchids To Variation
The life and work of Charles Darwin from the publication of Orchids to the publication of Variation during the years between 1860 and 1868 continued with Darwin carrying out his research and experimentation on evolution as he worked sporadically on the first section of his "big book", carrying out tedious work to provide evidence of the extent of natural variation enabling the use of artificial selection. He was repeatedly held up by his illness, and continued to find relaxation and interest in the study of plants. His studies of insect pollination led to publication of his book Fertilisation of Orchids as his first detailed demonstration of the power of natural selection, explaining the complex ecological relationships and making testable predictions. As his health declined, he lay on his sickbed in a room filled with inventive experiments to trace the movements of climbing plants.
Darwinism became a movement covering a wide range of evolutionary ideas. In 1863 Lyell's Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man popularised prehistory, though his caution on evolution disappointed Darwin. Weeks later Huxley's Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature showed that anatomically, humans are apes, then The Naturalist on the River Amazons by Henry Walter Bates provided empirical evidence of natural selection. Lobbying brought Darwin Britain's highest scientific honour, the Royal Society’s Copley Medal, awarded on 3 November 1864. That day, Huxley held the first meeting of what became the influential X Club devoted to "science, pure and free, untrammelled by religious dogmas".
Admiring visitors included Ernst Haeckel, a zealous follower of Darwinismus in a translation favouring progressive evolution over natural selection. Wallace remained supportive, though he increasingly turned to Spiritualism.
The first part of Darwin's planned "big book", The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, grew to two huge volumes, forcing him to leave out human evolution and sexual selection. It sold briskly in 1868 despite its size, and was translated into many languages. The work of Darwin from Descent of Man to Emotions followed after this publication.
Other articles related to "darwin from orchids to variation, variation, darwin, variations":
... Before Christmas 1866 Variation was sent to the printers, save for the last chapter ... In this, Darwin wanted to overcome the persistent argument of divinely guided variation ... or natural selection picked those that happened to be useful from variations arising by "general laws", to improve plants and animals, "man included" ...
Famous quotes containing the words darwin and/or orchids:
“From the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
—Charles Darwin (18091882)
“It seemed as if the breezes brought him,
It seemed as if the sparrows taught him,
As if by secret sign he knew
Where in far fields the orchids grew.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)