Charles Darwin’s work on evolution was not a sudden departure from creationism, but rather an important step in a long process of understanding species and change within biology. Transmutation and evolution were discussed in the eighteenth century and were entangled in debates on the structure of society and religion even then. In this class we will study the concept of the species. What is a species, how did it come into being, can it change, and can it cease to exist?
- Begin reading H.G. Well’s Island of Doctor Moreau
- Read the “Introduction” to Darwin’s Origin of Species.
- In the “Introduction,” Darwin mentions a Mr. Wallace. In the comments below add two facts about Mr. Wallace without repeating the prior comments. As a class, I hope you will figure out who Mr. Wallace was, when he lived, what he believed, how he motivated the publication of the Origin of Species, and what he thought about it.