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Text-only | Flash Special Report
Evolution of Evolution -
150 Years of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species"




CHARLES DARWIN

Introduction
Charles Darwin

Essays
Darwin as Ichthyologist: Lessons for Our Future — Daniel Pauly
Rethinking the Birdtree of Life — Shannon Hackett & Sushma Reddy
What If Darwin Hadn't Written "On the Origin of Species?" — Marsha Richmond
The Mythology of Natural Selection — Jim Secord

Audio Transcripts
Interview with Daniel Pauly
Interview with Shannon Hackett & Sushma Reddy

Video Transcripts
Interview with Marsha Richmond
Interview with Jim Secord

ANTHROPOLOGY

Introduction
Evolution of Anthropology

Essays
Skeletal Morphology — Susan Antón
Darwin as Anthropologist, Anthropologists as Darwinians — Ken Weiss
Human Evolution's Winding Path — Tim White

Audio Transcripts
Interview with Susan Antón

Video Transcripts
Interview with Ken Weiss
Interview with Tim White

ASTRONOMY

Introduction
Evolution of Astromony

Essays
Is There a Chemical Origin of the Species? — Anthony Remijan
Evolution A Starry Archetype — David DeVorkin
The Heavenly Origin of Evolution — Ron Numbers

Audio Transcripts
Interview with Anthony Remijan

Video Transcripts
Interview with David DeVorkin
Interview with Ron Numbers

BIOLOGY

Introduction
Evolution of Biology

Essays
From Darwin to DNA: Mice, Molecules and the Struggle for Existence — Hopi Hoekstra
From Darwin’s Gemmules to Evolutionary Genomics — Mohamed Noor
Evolution: Past, Present and Future — Richard Lenski
What Would Darwin Think? — Massimo Pigliucci

Audio Transcripts
Interview with Hopi Hoekstra
Interview with Mohamed Noor

Video Transcripts
Interview with Richard Lenski
Interview with Massimo Pigliucci

GEOSCIENCES

Introduction
Evolution of Geosciences

Essays
Darwin’s Missing Rock and the Increasing Precision of Earth Time — Kirk Johnson
Modern Paleobiology: Out of Darwin’s Shadow — Charles Marshall
Life, Climate and the Disguise of Change — Gerilyn Soreghan
Charles Darwin's Impact on Geology — Judith Totman Parrish

Audio Transcripts
Interview with Kirk Johnson
Interview with Charles Marshall & David Sepkoski

Video Transcripts
Interview with Gerilyn Soreghan
Interview with Judith Totman Parrish

POLAR SCIENCES

Introduction
Evolution of Polar Sciences

Essays
Marine Mammal Evolution and Human Adaptation in the Arctic — Henry Huntington
Origin and Evolution of Life on a Frozen Earth — John C. Priscu
Getting Into and Out of Antarctica — Ross MacPhee

Audio Transcripts
Interview with Henry Huntington

Video Transcripts
Interview with John C. Priscu
Interview with Ross MacPhee


INTRO VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

HOW TO THINK ABOUT ORIGIN...

Marsha Richmond, Historian of Science: When we talk about the Darwinian Revolution, I actually believe that there was a Darwinian Revolution in both science and society.

Jim Secord, Historian of Science: When the "Origin of Species" was published in 1859, the ambitions and scopes of science were dramatically expanding.

Rich Lenski, Molecular Ecologist: Darwin's "Origin" is about the actual history of life.

Lynn Soreghan, Geoscientist: There are few things that Darwin sensed that were prescient and so insightful.

Ross MacPhee, Paleontologist: The real way to think about "Origin of the Species" is that he gave my science a real start.

IMPACTS ON SCIENCE…

Massimo Pigliucci, Ecologist: "Origin of Species" marked the transition of biology from a prescience to a science.

David Devorkin, Historian of Astronomy: Well it certainly was a — and is a — defining and organizing principle.

Ken Weiss, Biological Anthropologist: Well Darwin, in that book, provided humans with understanding that we are part of life itself. He showed that all life is one phenomenon.

Tim White, Paleoanthropologist: It set humans firmly within the natural world.

Lynn Soreghan, Geoscientist: The first one that really comes to mind, really, is the concept of time in Earth sciences and in Earth history. He intuited that the history of the Earth had to be really, really long.

Judy Trottman-Parrish, Geologist: Evolution was really important for geoscientists in the sense that it put a timeframe on "The Origin of the Species" and on the appearance of different animals.

IMPACTS ON SOCIETY…

Jim Secord, Historian of Science: In Darwin's book, for many people, wasn't necessarily the right answer.

Ron Numbers, Historian of Science: For example we know that in 1844, a Scottish writer, anonymously published a book called "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation." This outsold Darwin's "Origin of Species."

Marsha Richmond, Historian of Science: Now the problem with the theory of natural selection was that it was difficult to prove.

Jim Secord, Historian of Science: If you look at the problems that natural selection is facing, there's a lot of criticism that you couldn't actually see it in action experimentally.

Marsha Richmond, Historian of Science: By the end of the century it hadn't been proven so it was really an ill repute.

Jim Secord, Historian of Science: And it was only gradually that these problems were solved one by one.

Ross MacPhee, Paleontologist: Since then, nearly everything that's come along of great importance to understanding evolution can be in some sense traced back to him.

Jim Secord, Historian of Science: Questions in generation, reproduction, heredity and, in fact, natural selection have shown in some sense to be much more powerful than anybody had understood.

Marsha Richmond, Historian of Science: There were scientific changes — new evidence, new science, new data — coming to the floor that certainly triggered something for Darwin but that's not to say that the greater society cultural changes weren't contributing. They were very much important.

Jim Secord, Historian of Science: So really, in many ways, the rise of natural selection isn't a Darwin story it's an early 20th century story.