Darwin wasn't a Doctor. He received a degree from Cambridge.
"His freethinking father wanted him in a profession, and what better for a wastrel naturalist than the Church? So Darwin was bounced back again to conventional Anglicanism - three years of high living and divinity at Christ's College, Cambridge (1828-31). Darwin had little calling (not that much was needed!), but his collateral education continued, as the beetling fanatic learned a conservative botany from Revd J.S.Henslow and strata mapping with geologist Revd Adam Sedgwick. He received his B.A. degree, but, as Henslow placed him at the captain's table aboard a surveying ship, HMS Beagle, the parsonage faded away."http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/darwin/leghist/desmond.htm
He learned geology and had extensive training as a naturalist though it was mostly extracurricular. Up until he published the Origin of Species in 1859, we was mostly known as a geologist. You have to remember, he came along right at the end of the era of the gentleman naturalist. There was no biology profession until the second half of the century.
"Although he is credited with a lot his ideas were not that new. Aristotle, the father of science speculated much of the same ideas centuries before the bible and its new ideas was written."
While the idea of the transmutation of species was not new with Darwin, his presentation and explanation for the causative agent (Natural selection) WAS new. Aristotle did not speculate about natural selection. The main Aristotelian contribution to the *species problem* as it was called in Darwin's day was negative; a rigid essentialism (That Aristotle probably did not share) that made the idea of a species changing impossible.
posted on 12/05/2005 8:08:27 AM PST
("There is a grandeur in this view of life...")
To: CarolinaGuitarman; jec41
While the idea of the transmutation of species was not new with Darwin, his presentation and explanation for the causative agent (Natural selection) WAS new.
Interestingly enough, Linnaeus was led to the conclusion that species aren't fixed.
Was Linnaeus an evolutionist? It is true that he abandoned his earlier belief in the fixity of species, and it is true that hybridization has produced new species of plants, and in some cases of animals. Yet to Linnaeus, the process of generating new species was not open-ended and unlimited.
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