Scientists had known about fossils since the beginning of the 1800s, they were already aware of body parts in both humans and other animals, that were similar to those found in other species but no longer served the same function-- if any at all. Scientists suspected that some kind of evolution had given rise to those living things around them. Many scientists, such as Buffon, alluded to the possibility of evolution in their works, but for fear of persecution, never reffered to it directly. Two scientists led the way in the search for evolution. The first scientist was Jean Lamarck. The second was one of the greatest figures in biology: Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882).

Darwin’s Theory of evolution is based on 5 main observations and assumption drawn upon them. They are:
  1. Variation: There is Variation in appearence and abilities every speciesCharles_Darwin_by_Julia_Margaret_Cameron.jpg.
  2. Competition: Organisms Compete for limited resources, such as food.
  3. Offspring: The product of reproduction
  4. Genetics: Organisms pass genetic traits on to their offspring.
  5. Natural Selection: Those organisms with the most beneficial traits
    are more likely to survive and reproduce.

Darwin imagined it might be possible that all life was decended from an original species from the ancient times, which DNA evidence supports this idea. These advantageous characteristics are inherited by following generations, becoming dominant among the population through time. This is Natural selection. It may be further imply that if natural selection is carried far enough, it will make changes in a population and eventually leading to new species. These observations have been amply demonstrated in biology, and even fossils demonstrated the conformity of these observations.

Galapagos Islands

While visiting the Galapagos Islands, Darwin examined 13 different variants of finches. He proposed that the finches must have descended from birds that had flown to the island from the mainland. Because of their similar appearances, Darwin questioned whether or not they shared a common ancestor. However, he observed that the beaks of the finches were all slightly different, depending on their diets and habits. He suggested that this was caused by natural selection—due to food scarcity, some finches adapted slimmer beaks, which enabled them to eat other types of food. Through their DNA, they passed this genetic trait on to their descendants. This held the same for the giant tortoises on each of the islands. Darwin noticed that they differed in slight ways from island to island. This reinforced his theory of natural selection.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was the first scientist to propose a theory of evolution, his theoretical observations on evolution were demonstrated in his extensive work on invertebrates (an animal that has no backbone or spinal column). Lamarck accepted the view that animals in nature were arranged on one continuous natural scale. Lamarck believed that living things evolved in a continuously upward direction, from dead matter, through simple to more complex forms, toward human. From the simplest forms of life, to more complex forms emerged naturally. These ideas were initially presented in 1809 in Lamarck's major theoretical work, Philosophie Zoologique (Zoological Philosophy), which he elaborated on them throughout his career.

Lamark's Theory vs. Darwin's Theory

Lamarck’s theory has been proven to be incorrect, while Darwin’s appears to be an accurate description of the process of evolution. Lamarck suggested that the characteristics an animal acquired in the course of its lifetime would be passed on through genetics to its offspring, and thus, over time, with the many changes each generation contributed, a species would evolve. Conversely, Darwin’s view is that a mutated characteristic is only passed on if it is useful to the survival of the animal.

- Chew, Robin. "Charles Darwin British Naturalist." 3 Mar. 2007. 12 June 2007 <>.
- Darwin, Charles. Darwin's Drawings of Variant Heads and Beaks Among Galapagos Finches. Darwin's theory of evolution. 14 June 2007 <>.
- Paul, Joe , and Sarah . "Darwin's Theory." Genesis: Darwin's Thoeyr of Natural Selection. 16 July 2005. 12 June 2007 <>.
- "Galapagos Islands." Wikipedia. 11 June 2007. 14 June 2007 <>.
- William, G. (2006). New Biology for You. Cheltenham, UK: Nelson Thornes Ltd.