© John H. Wahlert, 11 June 1998

[Charles Darwin] Students know Darwin as an isolated name and associate him with the words evolution, natural selection, and survival of the fittest. They know nothing of his life, the development of the theory of evolution, or that the theory has gained support as our knowledge of the earth and life has grown. Most general biology textbooks abet the students' limited view. The texts treat Darwin separately from the chapters on evolution and ecology; no connection is made between the evidence that he saw firsthand and how it contributed to his revolutionary theory. Darwin is not quoted directly, and there is no discussion of why a theory, proposed in 1858, is still robust and valid today.

My purpose is thus twofold:

  • Becoming a Scientist: to describe Darwin's physical and intellectual journey to the theory of evolution (our contemporary term) by means of natural selection in The Origin of Species

    Most students do not know that Darwin, just like they themselves, initially accepted the beliefs of the society in which he lived, and that these commonly held beliefs, founded on the Bible, were contrary to the theory with which we associate his name. Even students who like science do not consider it for a career, in part, because they have no idea of the intermediate steps between student in general studies courses and practicing scientist.

  • Evolution by Means of Natural Selection: to explain the theory and how it has matured with the growth of the sciences.

CONTENTS (All of these pages are "work in progress")

Charles Darwin:

Erasmus Darwin:

Return to Darwin and Darwinism web page

Last updated 3 December 2000 (JHW)