Biological Anthropology/Unit 1: Evolutionary Theory/Charles Darwin and Darwinian Evolution

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Darwinian Evolution

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Who is Charles Darwin?

Ernst Mayr claims, and many would agree, that Charles Darwin has done more to influence the philosophy of science, evolutionary biology, and the modern zeitgeist than any other individual (Mayr 2000: 78). Darwin developed a comprehensive biological theory of evolution that provided a unity to the natural world never before seen. He demonstrated the importance of historicity in science as well as a methodology that involved observation, comparison and classification, not just experimentation. Darwin's ideas, which rocked the foundation of Western society, still create heated debate in the modern world (Mayr 2000).

So, just who was Charles Darwin?