What Was Darwin’s ‘Original’ Thought?
Original thinking? The truth is that there was little about Darwin’s scientific theory that was original—and the part that was original was not scientific.
The idea that organisms undergo minor variations was not original. For millennia, farmers and breeders have known that they could induce minor changes in a breeding population (typically a species or genus). This process also happens in nature, where it is called microevolution.
What was original was Darwin’s proposal that the same minor variations might accumulate via undirected natural selection to originate completely new organs and body plans (generating higher taxonomic categories such as orders, classes, or phyla). This is called macroevolution—and it does not happen in nature.More.
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