In 1859, Charles Darwin published a vastly important work: On the Origin of Species by
means of Natural Selection. For centuries, man had been seen as a created species, distinct from any
other animal. Then, Darwin persuasively argued that mankind and other species are descended from common
ancestors. His theory of "natural selection," also known as "survival of the fittest," explains how life evolved
through natural processes. By the 1950s, most scientists accepted the theory. However, it upset many who
believed that life was created by a supernatural Goda debate which is perpetuated today.
The Science and Discovery series recreates history's four thousand year journey to better understand the world
through scientific means. It is a story of vested interests and independent thinkers, experiments and theories,
change and progress.
California Academy of Sciences
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