Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Darwin and India
Komanduri S. Murty & Ashwin G. Vyas
Charles Darwin (1809–1882) was the British naturalist who became famous for his theories of evolution and natural selection. He believed that all the life on earth evolved over millions of years from a few common ancestors. He went on expeditions around the world from 1831 to 1836, studying and collecting plants and fossils. Upon his return to London, Darwin conducted thorough research of his notes and specimens. Out of this study grew several of his related theories: (a) Evolution did occur; (b) evolutionary changes were gradual, requiring thousands of millions of years; (c) the primary mechanism for evolution was a process called natural selection; and (d) the millions of species alive today arose from a single original life form through a branching process called specialization . Darwin's theory of evolution holds that variation within species occurs randomly and that the survival or extinction of each organism is determined by that ...