Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Review of on Natural Selection by Charles Darwin

September 21, 2009 | Comments: 0 | Views: 100

I have been researching great thinkers and how they have shaped the world. I have also been trying to prove that the act of reading helps to generate or even stimulate great ideas. Great thinkers do not operate within a vacuum, they rely on the works of others, and often expand the original thought and take the world further. Charles Darwin and British biologist Alfred Russel Wallace independently arrived at similar theories of Natural Selection in the mid-1800s after reading Essay on the Principle of Population by British pastor Thomas Malthus.

Darwin defines natural selection as the "preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variation." So what does this all mean? Darwin further adds, "Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in the species called polymorphic... Natural selection can act only by taking advantage of slight variations; she can never take a leap, but must advance by the shortest steps."

This book wasn't the easiest to read, and I found it quite "dry". But, in my quest to find out where really good ideas come from, I made the sacrifice and slogged through it. I have selected fives ideas from On Natural Selection. For the five ideas below, how can you use them in different contexts to resolve/understand modern day problems?

Five Good Ideas

  1. When a plant or animal is placed in a new country amongst new competitors, though the climate may be exactly the same as its former home, yet the conditions of its life will generally be changed in an essential manner. If we wished to increase its average numbers in its new home, we should have to modify it in a different way to what we should have done in its native country; for we should have to give it some advantage over a different set of competitors or enemies.
  2. Individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and of procreating their kind
  3. When a species, owing to highly favourable circumstances, increases inordinately in numbers in a small tract, epidemics often ensue
  4. The more diversified the descendants from any one species become in structure, constitution, and habits, by so much will they be better enabled to seize on many and widely diversified places in the polity of nature, and so be enabled to increase in numbers
  5. Natural selection is working behind the scenes all the time throughout the world whenever the opportunity arises. It works to improve each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life. You cannot see these slow changes taking place, until after a long period of time has elapsed, we see that the forms of life are now different from what they formerly were

We could take idea number two and look at it in the context of education. It's a reasonable assumption to make that people who are more educated have a better chance of succeeding than those who have less education. Or, for that same idea, we could say, someone who has an idea and knows how to take action, will be more successful than someone who has ideas but do nothing about them. Success in this context is not restricted to financial success. Why don't you take one of the above five ideas and see what new ideas you can generate?

I recommend On Natural Selection because I am sure that you will come up with your own five ideas. This is not a book that you would read for entertainment, but it will certainly stretch you.

Avil Beckford, Chief Invisible Mentor, writer and researcher with over 15 years of experience is the published author of Tales of People Who Get It and its companion workbook Journey to Getting It. Subscribe to the Invisible Mentor Blog for great information to ignite your hidden genius, and explore the Resources page for free white papers and an e-book.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Charles Darwin


Alfred Russel Wallace


Natural Selection


Thomas Malthus

Finding and collecting vintage comic books for fun and profit is something that is interesting, but can be difficult. With so many places to look, narrowing down the options can be painstaking, until

By: Jorge Orduna l Book Reviews > Comics Humor l July 07, 2012 lViews: 286

Action packed story that reads like you are there in person. Lieutenant Commander Andrew Carlson was a U.S. Navy Seal. He was as rough and tough as they come. He was part of a mission to be inserted

By: Cy Hilterman l Book Reviews > Mysteries Thrillers l July 06, 2012 lViews: 278

"Look Me In The Eye, If You Dare!" Okay, all of You "Internet Millionaire Moguls," I want some answers, and I want them now.

By: Travis L Perkins l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 311

Crush it is a great "How to" book on using social media and being real with yourself on what you do. Gary is very passionate about what he does. The key to his success is blending who he is with what

By: Joe Mosed l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 547

My resolution this year was to knuckle down and do something to bring in some new clients for my practice, so I was pleased to see that Internet Marketing Bible for Accountants looked like it might

By: Karen K Jefferson l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 296

When promoting your business online, are you using internet marketing? If you have yet to spread your branches into the online world, you ought to consider doing so.

By: Joyce McNeill Christopher l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 282

Cracking EAMCET is questions is tricky but easy than it is imagined. Once a student has thorough grip over the subject, then the question paper can be solved with much ease.

By: Javed Shaikl Book Reviews > Biologyl May 26, 2012 lViews: 251

In 1812, the 'Father of Paleontology', Baron Georges Cuvier, rashly pronounced that 'there is little hope of discovering a new species' of large animals and that naturalists should concentrate on

By: Simon A Hel Book Reviews > Biologyl April 02, 2012 lViews: 312

A Review of the Book - "First Life" Designed to accompany the two-part television series, "David Attenborough's First Life" covers the billions of years of time, leading up to the development of

By: Mike Walleyl Book Reviews > Biologyl January 09, 2012 lViews: 217

This review examines the book "A Field Guide to Warblers of North America", by Dunn and Garrett, part of the Peterson Field Guide series, commonly referred to as the "Peterson Warblers Guide". This

By: Alex Zorachl Book Reviews > Biologyl December 26, 2011 lViews: 192

The book Ornithology, by Frank B. Gill, is one of the most widely-used textbooks on the subject of ornithology. This critical book review gives an overview of my experience with this book, and what I

By: Alex Zorachl Book Reviews > Biologyl December 26, 2011 lViews: 225

This book review of Ecology: The Ascendent Perspective by Robert Ulanowicz highlights both my personal story of reading this book, including how it influenced me as a thinker, and a more professional

By: Alex Zorachl Book Reviews > Biologyl December 25, 2011 lViews: 191

Initially I struggled while reading The Great Books by Anthony O'Hear, and thought it was dry and too academic. I decided to take a closer look at my feelings and prejudices toward The Great Books

By: Avil Beckfordl Book Reviews > Philosophyl September 28, 2010 lViews: 177

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus