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Darwin´s Theory of Natural Selection and Primates Essay

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Darwin’s ideas about organic evolution were drawn from the existing forces of knowledge on evolution developed by Lyell, Malthus, and Lamarck. Although Darwin was not the first thinker about the concept of evolution, he was a revolutionary in developing a theory of evolution that was consistent.
The distinctive element of the evolutionary theory conceived by Darwin is the way he viewed species. Darwin considered variation among individuals of a species to be natural. He further argued that variation, far from being problematic, actually provides the explanation for the existence of distinct species. Darwin adopted elements from Malthus’s theory on population growth and stated that only those members of a population that are capable of adapting through variations survive. Thus, over generations, adaptive variations will accumulate in the population and this results in constant variations within species through time. According to Darwin species are non-static and progressive in nature.
Darwin’s view about specie’s was very different from his contemporaries. Rather than defining species in idealistic terms that involved rejecting deviations and differences within species, Darwin viewed species as ever changing. Carolus Linnaeus classified organisms based on the their degree of similarity. Linnaeus believed that each species existed in an ideal form. He considered variations as problematic and imperfect. Darwin on the other hand was a great believer in the idea of materialism and applied it to his idea of evolution. Darwin’s view about species also differed from Lamarck’s. Although Lamarck advocated that species do change over time but importantly his theory of transformism was different from Darwin’s and modern theory of ...


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...ains at birth, and have high postnatal brain growth. When we look at the life history variations across Primates, unlike other Primates humans have a longer period of infant dependency, human infants, in natural fertility societies, are weaned far earlier than any of the great apes: chimps and orangutans wean, on average, at about 5 and 7.7 years, respectively, while humans wean, on average, at about 2.5 years. It is argued here that the neurological basis for human intellectual ability cannot be sustained much beyond one year by a human mother’s milk alone, and thus early weaning, when accompanied by supplementation with more nutritious adult foods, is vital to the ontogeny of our larger brain.
• Life History Variation in Primates, Paul H. Harvey and T. H. Clutton-Brock, Evolution, Vol. 39, No. 3 (May, 1985), pp. 559-581
• http://www.primates.com/primate/index.html



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