What did Darwin Get Right?
Charles Darwin was a young naturalist when he visited the Galapagos Islands in the early 1800’s. For several weeks Darwin explored the islands taking notes and collecting specimens, especially birds. He noticed a number of the islands had one or maybe two species of finches and those species had developed their unique traits there, adapting to the specific conditions on each island, rather than arriving in their present form from somewhere else. Darwin was correct when he observed different variation within a created kind. His findings were based on observations in the present. What was the most intriguing was the different beak sizes among the different species. And the fact the beak sizes would change over the generations of finches due to food changes because of droughts or excessive rain.
What Darwin got right is that there can be observable changes within a species over time, even to the point where the differences are great enough to qualify as a new species. However, these changes are not caused by random genetic mutation followed by natural selection as Darwin thought, but are instead caused by pre-programmed adaptive response capabilities already possessed by the species. This new and fascinating field of study is called epigenetics. Please check out the video and articles to learn more!