On the Origin of Species, published by Charles Darwin in 1859, is
considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Darwin's book
presented evidence that the diversity of life arose through a branching
pattern of evolution with common descent caused by the mechanism of
natural selection. Prior to its publication various evolutionary ideas
had been proposed to explain new findings in biology, but the English
scientific establishment, closely tied to the Church of England,
believed that species were unchanging parts of a designed hierarchy and
had rejected ideas of transmutation of species and of humans being
related to animals. The book attracted widespread interest, and
generated scientific, philosophical, and religious discussion. This
debate contributed to establishing secular science based on scientific
naturalism. Within two decades there was widespread scientific
agreement that evolution had occurred, but until the modern
evolutionary synthesis in the 20th century there was much less
agreement on the significance of natural selection.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Conrad of Montferrat became de jure uxoris King of Jerusalem after
marrying Queen Isabella I.
American Civil War: As part of the Chattanooga Campaign in Chattanooga,
Tennessee, Union forces captured Lookout Mountain, helping them to
begin breaking the Confederate siege of the city.
Irish Civil War: Author and Irish nationalist Robert Erskine Childers
was executed by firing squad by the Irish Free State for illegally
carrying an automatic pistol.
After collecting a ransom payout of US$200,000, "D. B. Cooper" leaped
out of the rear stairway of the airplane he had hijacked over the
Pacific Northwest and disappeared.
A group of paleoanthropologists led by Donald Johanson discovered a
3.2-million-year-old skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis in the
Afar Depression in Ethiopia, nicknaming it "Lucy" after The Beatles
song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Empty verbiage or nonsense
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Writing, when properly managed, (as you may be sure I think mine is) is
but a different name for conversation.