Segments in this Video

Darwin and Thomas Huxley (01:14)


Charles Darwin's defender was Thomas Huxley, an eminent biologist who supported Darwin's theories of evolution.

Sir Andrew Huxley's Lecture on Darwin (01:08)

Thomas Huxley's grandson defends himself against his critics. President of the Royal Society, Sir Huxley begins a lecture about evolution and Charles Darwin.

Darwin's Evidence for Evolution (01:04)

Though Darwin was not the originator of the idea of evolution, he was the first to provide evidence of it.

Darwin's Concept of Natural Selection (00:50)

Darwin provided strong evidence that natural selection is the principal mechanism of evolution.

Moth Species on Display (00:59)

Sir Andrew Huxley's displays of a moth species demonstrates how the principal of natural selection works.

Natural Selection in Moths (01:22)

The effect of industrialization was that smoke from factories killed off lichens on tree trunks and blackened the trunks. The dark form of the moth was better camouflaged. Thus, the light-colored moth evolved into a black moth.

Classification for Animals (01:08)

Before Darwin, there were only very general grounds for thinking that species had become different. There was a classification system that grouped similar animals together.

Evolution and Speculation (01:23)

Until the 1859 publication of Darwin's "Origin of Species," evolutionary theories were only speculative hypotheses.

Darwin's Voyage on the "Beagle" (00:54)

Darwin embarked on the "Beagle" at age 22 as the ship's naturalist for its five-year information gathering voyage.

Darwin's Observations (01:25)

Young Darwin makes certain geological and natural observations as naturalist on board the "Beagle."

Charles Darwin in the Galapagos Islands (01:09)

Some of Darwin's most striking observations of flora and fauna come when he visits the Galapagos Islands. He observes 25 different finches that exist only on the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Finches (01:50)

Sir Andrew Huxley shows his audience different specimens of finches that represent those that Darwin observed.

Darwin's Theory of Evolution (01:03)

Darwin concludes that different species of finches were all related to one original pair. He dismisses the theory of independent creation. His studies in the Galapagos convince him of his "descent with modification" theory of evolution.

Darwin's Unpublished Observations (01:22)

Darwin did not publish his findings or his theories of evolution for at last 20 years after the "Beagle" returned to England. His theory would have been met with much antagonism at the time, so he withheld his observations.

Darwin's Naturalistic Studies (00:53)

While Darwin's naturalist observations remained unpublished, he pursued other studies, in particular he spent eight years studying barnacles. He begins a book in 1856.

Another Theory of Natural Selection (01:09)

In 1858, naturalist and animal collector Alfred Russell Wallace writes to Darwin about his own theory of natural selection. Darwin's theories on natural selection were still unpublished.

"Origin of Species" Published (01:02)

Darwin finishes "Origin of Species" in less than a year and publishes it in 1859. It is a readable book for a variety of audiences. It was critically reviewed and violently attacked.

Avoidance of Evolution of Mankind (01:14)

In his book, Darwin did not bring up questions about the origin of mankind. Those questions are addressed in "The Descent of Man."

Bishop of Oxford vs. Darwin (00:57)

In 1860, the Bishop of Oxford led the attack against Darwin and his evolutionary theories. The uproar lasted for a short time before the educated British public generally accepted Darwin's theories.

Thomas Huxley and Darwinian View (01:25)

In 1879, Thomas Huxley gave a lecture entitled, "The Coming of Age of the Origin of Species." Huxley accepted the value of human beings for who they are and not for their manner of coming into existence.

Importance of Darwin's Work (01:08)

Sir. Andrew Huxley discusses Darwin's importance as the first to present strong, scientific evidence for descent with modification. He posits a plausible mechanism for its occurrence, namely natural selection.

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The Origins of Darwin’s Theory

Part of the Series : The Evolution of Darwin
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Sir Andrew Huxley—grandson of Darwin’s great defender, Thomas Huxley—describes Darwin’s motivations, discoveries, and search for a logical theory to explain his observations of both geological and biological evidence in South America, focusing on Darwin’s importance as the first to present strong, scientific evidence for descent with modification and to posit a plausible mechanism for its occurrence, namely natural selection. (26 minutes)

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL3345

ISBN: 978-1-4213-9387-2

Copyright date: ©1992

Closed Captioned

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