Origin of the species


November 28, 2021

"On the Origin of Species" is a book on evolution published by Charles Darwin on November 24, 1859. The title may be written as "the origin of the seed" as in the Iwanami Bunko version, or as "the origin of the seed" as in the Kobunsha classic new translation paperback version. ≈ Explanation ≈ Darwin uses the term descent with modification in "On the Origin of Species" rather than evolution. It was Herbert Spencer who used evolution in the sense of evolution, and Darwin also used it in the sixth edition. He argued that natural selection constantly changes organisms to adapt to the environment, diverging species to give rise to diverse species. This process was explained using phrases such as survival competition and survival of the fittest (5th edition and later). Natural selection is "(1) the properties of living things differ between individuals, (2) some of them are passed on from parents to their offspring, and (3) their carrying capacity is smaller than their fertility. Only a part of the offspring can survive and reproduce. Since the average ability to leave offspring to the next generation differs depending on the nature, the mechanism is that the characteristics of an advantageous individual are maintained and diffused. " He said that all organisms were born from one or just a few ancestral organisms, but in reality, contrary to the title, how individual species are born (speciation). ) Was hardly explained. He also makes a few mentions of the geographic distribution and sexual selection of organisms. At that time, he was not known about the mechanism of DNA and heredity, so he could not explain the mechanism of mutation and heredity well. He also recognized that evolution was different from progress, and that it was mechanistic due to accidental mutations with no specific direction. Darwin tried to construct the concept of evolution as a theory by empirical results such as many observational examples and experimental evidence. This book is easy to read for non-professionals and has attracted widespread interest. Denying the religious beliefs that underlie biology at the time caused not only scientific but also religious and philosophical controversies. Since Darwin's contribution, evolutionary theories have developed rapidly, including the establishment of the neutral evolutionary theory. However, the theory of natural selection is still claimed to be a scientifically recognized model as a factor in adaptive evolution. On the other hand, even now, theories such as creation science and intelligent design, which deny the theory of evolution, are being claimed by anti-evolutionary groups. In addition, as Darwin's words, "The strongest one does not survive, and the wisest one does not survive. Only the one who can survive is the one who can change." There are times, but there is no word that corresponds to Darwin's own remarks or "On the Origin of Species", and it was disseminated by the interpretation of business scholar Meginson.

Bibliographic information

The full title of this book is "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favorite Races in" The Struggle for Life "(upper right figure). Here, races means a race. The revision continued from the 2nd edition (January 7, 1860) to the 6th edition in 1872, with additions and corrections for 13 years. In particular, in the 6th edition, a new chapter "Various objections to the theory of natural selection" was added, and the differences submitted so far.

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