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Darwin1 - described Darwin's specimens from the Beagle...

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Darwin's Precursors and Influences Other influences on Darwin As the quote from Ruse at the head of this essay makes plain, Darwin was not a solitary genius with neither precursors nor influences. Many other people influenced his intellectual development, including the philosopher of science and scientist William Whewell, who on his own practically invented the field of philosophy devoted to scientific method 1 , and as Ruse explains Darwin was a participant in a major shift in the nature of science generally from a state of patronage and subordination to ecclesiastical orthodoxy to one of professional independence and government funding. Darwin had several mentors who were professional scientists. John Henslow, a botanist at Cambridge, was his friend, and he introduced Darwin to Whewell and the geologist Sedgwick, with whom Darwin undertook a geological expedition. His second cousin, W Darwin Fox introduced Darwin to entymology, and the ornithologist John Gould, who catalogued and
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Unformatted text preview: described Darwin's specimens from the Beagle voyage and recognised the different species that started Darwin on his investigation into regional variation, was a lifelong friend and colleague. Darwin was not an isolated amateur; he was a recognised and connected spet. However, Darwin's own later influence was mixed. He convinced the geological and zoological scientific communities that transmutation had occurred and of common descent, but even his supposed allies (Haeckel, Huxley, Gray) were not convinced of the efficacy of natural selection, and tended towards views more akin to those that preceded Darwin. Despite the work of later Darwinians such as Romanes and Weismann, and of course, Wallace, it wasn't until 1930, when RA Fisher showed that Mendelian genetics in large populations accounted for change in a singularly Darwinian fashion, that Darwinism became in any sense an orthodox view of biology...
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