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Introduction to species origin物种起源简介

The Origin of Species is a biological work by British biologist Darwin to elaborate the basis of biological evolution theory. Full name "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life". Published in London on November 24, 1859.

In this book, Darwin is based on a large amount of research data accumulated in more than 20 years in many fields such as paleontology, biogeography, morphology, embryology, and taxonomy, focusing on natural selection, from variability, genetics, artificial selection, The aspects of survival competition and adaptation demonstrate the origin of species and the diversity and unity of life in nature. "Origin of Species" not only created a new era in the history of biological development, infiltrated the ideas of evolution into all areas of natural sciences, but also caused a huge revolution in the entire human mind, which has had a broad and far-reaching influence in the course of world history.

《物种起源》是英国生物学家达尔文系统阐述生物进化理论基础的生物学著作。全名《论依据自然选择即在生存斗争中保存优良族的物种起源》(On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life)。1859年11月24日在伦敦出版。


1、Creative background创作背景

In 1831, Hunts House recommended Darwin to take part in the "Begel" world tour. This trip around the world can be said to have completely changed Darwin's life and made him a step forward in biological research. Darwin followed the "Begel" across the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, reaching the Cape of Good Hope at the southernmost tip of South America, Australia, and Africa. Along the way, Darwin inspected the geology, animal and plant characteristics of various places along the way, collected countless specimens, and made detailed observation notes of his findings. After 5 years, Darwin traveled through most of the world and finally returned to Britain.

In the process of sailing around the world, there are similar and different species in each region, or the islands of South America and Oceania have similar environments. But the species are different. These findings reinforce Darwin's determination to study biological properties.

In 1842, Darwin completed a brief outline of The Origin of Species. After more than ten years of hard research, he finally published the Origin of Species in 1859.




2、Ideas of works作品思想

Darwin expounded the scientific principle in "Origin of Species" that the species of living things in nature are not constant, but evolve gradually from low level to high level. The evolution theory includes the following points: 1. Most of the variations are small, and obvious accidental variations in natural state are rare, even if they occur, they will disappear due to hybridization; 2. The variation of nature is continuous transition, from individual difference to slight variation, significant variation, subspecies and new species; 3. Natural selection: all living things tend to increase the number of individuals according to geometric progression, but resources (such as space, food, etc.) are limited. Therefore, different individuals within the same species and different species struggle (compete) for survival opportunities. And lead to the death of a large number of individuals. 4. Some modified and developed concepts are mainly characterized by differences. Darwin saw from domestic animals and plants that, due to the selection according to different needs, a primitive common ancestor type, i.e. wild species, can be cultivated into many domestic species with significantly different morphological characteristics. Similarly, the greater the difference in morphology and habits between individuals within the same species in nature, the better it will be to adapt to different environments, and thus more individuals will be bred and distributed more widely: with the accumulation of differences, the differentiation (divergence) will become larger and larger, and the original species will gradually become a series of varieties, subspecies and even different new species. This is the principle of character divergence (differentiation).

Darwin also elaborated on the role of geographical isolation in promoting differences in traits and the formation of new species, with the variation of tits and turtles on islands isolated by oceans as a typical example. In a region, because resources (such as space, food, etc.) are limited, the number of species and individuals that each region can maintain (support) is limited. As a result of struggle for existence and natural selection, the number of type individuals with favorable variation increases, while the number of type individuals with relative disadvantage decreases until they are eliminated or extinct. With the increase of character differences, new species are continuously formed and old species are extinct, especially due to the extinction of intermediate transitional types, the morphological differences between different species are gradually expanding: in the practice of biological classification, the same species belong to one genus, the similar genera belong to one family, and the similar families belong to one order. If we look at both time and space, the formation process of biological classification system is like a big tree that branches off continuously. In response, Darwin used a big tree to vividly describe the principle of natural selection.

达尔文在《物种起源》中阐明了这样的科学原理:自然界中生物的物种不是不变的,而是由低级向高级逐渐进化发展的。进化学说包括以下几点:1.多数变异是微小的,在自然状态下显著的偶然变异是少见的,即使出现也会因为杂交而消失; 2.自然界的变异是连续过渡的,从个体差异到轻微的变种、显著的变种、亚种和新种;3.自然选择:生物都有按几何级数增加个体数目的倾向,但是资源(如空间、食物等)又是有限的,因而,同一物种内的不同个体以及不同物种之间为获得生存机会而斗争(竞争)。并导致大量个体的死亡。4.一些经过修改和发展的概念,主要为性状分歧。达尔文从家养动植物中看到,由于按照不同的需要进行选择,一个原始共同祖先类型,即野生品种,可以被培养成许多形态特征显著不同的家养品种。同样,自然界的同一个种内个体之间的形态、习性差异越大,则适应不同环境方面越是有利,因而将会繁育更多的个体,分布更为广泛:随着差异的积累,分异(歧异)越来越大,原先的一个种就会逐渐变为一系列变种、亚种乃至不同的新种。这就是性状分歧(分异)的原理。


3、The influence of later generations后世影响

On October 24, 1859, "Origin of Species" was officially released. The first 1,250 printed copies were sold out on that day. The book "Origin of Species" caused great repercussions in the scientific community and the public at that time. Religious leaders and the Victorian Dynasty were shocked that the ancestors of human beings and animals were actually the same. However, Darwin's idea still has a profound influence on the western society and ideological circle, and is also the foundation of modern biology and evolution.


4、About the Author作者简介

Charles Darwin (1809 ~ 1882) was born in a family of doctors in Shrewsbury, western England. At the age of 16, he was sent to the University of Edinburgh to study medicine. But Darwin has been hunting since childhood, collecting minerals and plant specimens. His father thought he was idle. In 1829, under the anger, he was sent to Cambridge University to study theology by his father, hoping that he would become a "honored priest." In 1831, Darwin graduated from the University of Cambridge. In December of the same year, the British government organized a worldwide survey of the USS "Berg", and Darwin began his expedition as a "naturalist" at his own expense. The warship crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, passed through Australia, crossed the Indian Ocean, bypassed the Cape of Good Hope, and returned to Britain on 10 October 1836. In 1842, he first wrote a brief outline of The Origin of Species. In November 1859, after more than 20 years of research, Darwin finally wrote the scientific masterpiece "The Origin of Species" (full name: "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (that is, Preserving Fine Races in the Struggle for Survival)". On April 19, 1882, Darwin died of illness, and his body was buried next to Newton's tomb.