NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Wood engraving of Charles Robert Darwin (1809- 1882) English naturalist and author of the Origin of Species as an old man. He suggested that natural variation in a species creates a wide range of individual characteristics, some of which are more useful than others. The competition to survive in nature provides a driving force for evolution in the form of natural selection, a mechanism which weeds out those individuals possessing traits less suitable to the enviroment. The implications of his theory to man's own origins fuelled a bitter controversy with the christian orthodoxy.
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