1-28-09 - 1/28/09 Charles Darwin & the birth of a...

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1/28/09 Charles Darwin & the birth of a theory - no great gift in any field - no aptitude for anything but “shooting “dogs” and “rat catching” - private school – hated it - trained for medicine at Edinburgh – quit - Cambridge divinity school, 1831 (w/o distinction - Developed an interest in natural history, through his friendship with John Henslow (developed friendship at Cambridge) - “On the favorable end of the balance, I think that I am superior to the common run of men in noticing things which easily escape attention, and in observing them carefully” - HMS Beagle (1831-1836) – Natural historian on ship o Robert Fitzroy, captain o Galagapos Islands are part Ecuador, but about 600 miles off coast o Set foot on September 15, 1835 Brought back over 1500 specimens - Darwin’s Finches o Noted beaks differentiated the birds o Radiation to neighboring islands o Exploitations of unoccupied niches o Then beaks vary by island Competition for scarce resources Which vary by island Results in differential reproductive success of finches on the basis of their beak size & shape
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o Selection for or against different phenotypes on each
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1-28-09 - 1/28/09 Charles Darwin & the birth of a...

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