04_discussions - Anthropology 161 Winter 2008 Introduction...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Anthropology 161, Winter 2008 Lab / discussion exercises Introduction to Biological Anthropology FIRST DISCUSSION: WHAT DARWIN SAW Virtually everyone has heard of Charles Darwin. Most people have at least a minimal familiarity with Darwin and his work. But what did he really do? A tremendous amount of misinformation and resulting confusion about Darwin, the theory of natural selection, and the origin of species have arisen from a general lack of understanding of the events surrounding his life and research. This discussion is designed to give you greater insight into Darwinism through a historical account of the voyage of the Beagle and its immediate aftermath. Before reading further, test your knowledge of Darwin and Darwinism by answering briefly the following two questions. Compare what you’ve written here with others in your discussion group. 1. Who was Charles Darwin? 2. What did he do? Now let the story begin…. Darwin as a young man Darwin came from a prosperous, politically liberal family in England. As was befitting someone of his background, he originally planned to become a physician. He grew disillusioned with medical study at Edinburgh, however, at which point, he withdrew and enrolled in Cambridge University to pursue a career as a country parson. Darwin by his own admission was a poor student. He put it best in his autobiography: ".... my time was sadly wasted there and worse than wasted. From my passion for shooting and for hunting and when this failed, for riding across country I got into a sporting set, including some dissipated, low-minded young men." Darwin (1887). The Autobiography page 19
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Anthropology 161, Winter 2008 Lab / discussion exercises Introduction to Biological Anthropology Darwin was nonetheless, avidly interested in the natural world, a point illustrated by the following quote from his autobiography "But no pursuit at Cambridge was followed with nearly so much eagerness or gave me so much pleasure as collecting beetles." Darwin (1887). The Autobiography The Voyage of the Beagle After graduating from Cambridge, Darwin was approached by one of his Biology Professors, William Henslow. Henslow suggested that he pursue his passion for natural history by accompanying, as ship's naturalist, the HMS Beagle on a voyage around the world. The Beagle had been commissioned by the British government to spend 2 - 3 years mapping the coast of South America and then return to Britain, perhaps by circumnavigating the globe. Darwin's father initially forbade him to go, but later agreed after being persuaded by his brother-in-law and Darwin’s future father-in-law, Josiah Wedgwood The Galapagos: Variation It was on this voyage that Darwin was first exposed to nature in all of its wondrous variety. Nowhere was this more self-evident than on the Galapagos Islands, a small chain of islands off the west coast of South America (see insert above). It was here on the Galapagos that Darwin encountered several new animals unknown to him.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/27/2008 for the course ANTHRBIO 161 taught by Professor Mitani during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

Page1 / 25

04_discussions - Anthropology 161 Winter 2008 Introduction...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online