Publication of Darwin's Theory

The publication of Darwin's theory brought into the open Charles Darwin's ideas of evolution through natural selection, the culmination of more than twenty years of work.

Thoughts on the possibility of transmutation of species which he recorded in 1836 towards the end of his five-year voyage on the Beagle were followed on his return by findings and work which led him to conceive of his theory in September 1838. He gave priority to his career as a geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell’s uniformitarian ideas, and to publication of the findings from the voyage as well as his journal of the voyage, but he discussed his evolutionary ideas with several naturalists and carried out extensive research on his "hobby" of evolutionary work.

He was writing up his theory in 1858 when he received an essay from Alfred Russel Wallace who was in Borneo, describing Wallace's own theory of natural selection, prompting immediate joint publication of extracts from Darwin's 1844 essay together with Wallace's paper as On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection in a presentation to the Linnaean Society on 1 July 1858. This attracted little notice, but spurred Darwin to write an "abstract" of his work which was published in 1859 as his book On the Origin of Species.

Read more about Publication Of Darwin's Theory:  Background, Wallace, Struggle For Existence, Asa Gray and The Young Guard, The Country Squire, Human Origins, Wallace Encouraged, Publication of Joint Paper, Publication of The "Origin of Species"

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