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Today is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. The National History Museum in London presents a timely reminder of the importance of this book:
Scientists had been searching for an explanation of how and why there was such a huge variety of life on Earth.
Darwin, and Alfred Russel Wallace, came up with the same theory to explain this diversity independently. Their idea was that species evolve by a process called natural selection.
Natural selection is where the fittest individuals of a species are more likely to survive and reproduce and pass their advantageous characteristics to their offspring.
In time, characteristics that allow organisms to survive and reproduce become more common.
Let’s hope the next 150 years aren’t marked by the anti-science, anti-intellectual, creationism ignorance that have marked the first 150 years since the book’s debut.