On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life
On November 12, 1859, English scientist Charles Darwin published what is arguably the most influential, groundbreaking and controversial piece of scientific study the world has ever seen. In his work, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," Darwin proposed that all living things originated from common ancestors and developed over the course of time in a branching pattern to form complex and diverse species. He challenged both the predominant scientific theory that species were created independently and the prevailing religious explanation of intelligent design. Darwin declared that the survival of a species resulted from its successful traits or adaptations in a process known as "natural selection." In his conclusion, Darwin declared, "whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." Today, while his theory of evolution remains a controversial subject in some circles, it is widely considered to be the pivotal text in the field of biology and the science of life.
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