The Beagle sailed to South America, making many stops along the coast. Here Darwin observed the plants and animals of the tropics and was stunned by the diversity of species compared with Europe. The most significant stop the Beagle made was the Galapagos Islands off the northwestern coast of South America. It was here that Darwin found huge populations of Tortoises; and he found out that diffrent islands were home to diffrent types of tortoises.
He found that islands without tortoises, pricky pear cactus plants grew with their fruits spread all over the ground. And on Islands that had lots of tortoises, the prickly pears grew really thick, tall, bearing the fruit high above the tortoises reach. He wondered if the differences in the two plants were from being isolated from one another on seperate islands. In 1836, Darwin returned to England after his 5 year expedition.
He became established as one of the best naturalists of his time. But Darwin sought to prove his idea of evolution with simple examples. Darwin maintained that seperate species evolve as a result of Natural Selection, or survival of the fittest. Darwin never said that human beings evolved from apes.
He said that all life began with molecules acting on each other. So from the first single celled organism all life came. One single organism, by many diffrent molecules could make many diffrent species of animals. It was in this way that he stated Ape and Man are similar by each having similar life beginning. Darwin’s theories caused people to begin to question where they actually came from.
His response was the book on the origin of species. In his book he addressed the concerns of the people. He said It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing in the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the highes sense, being growth with reproduction; Inheritance and Variability; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a strugle for life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of charector and extinction of less-improved forms. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one, and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed laws of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beauthiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.