From Big Medical Encyclopedia

DARWIN Charlz (Darwin Charles Bobert, 1809 — 1882) — the English naturalist, the founder of the materialistic theory of organic evolution — Darwinism.


Honourable doctor Bonnsky, Breslavlsky, Leiden and Cambridge high fur boots, member correspondent. St. Petersburg (1867) and the Berlin (1878) academies of Sciences, the member Ying-that France (1878), the honorary member of many scientific about-in, including. Moscow about-va testers of the nature. Grandson of the English doctor, naturalist and poet Erasmus Darwin (E. Darwin). Since 1842 lived in Down (near London) and was engaged in scientific activity.

Ch. Darwin in 1825 arrived on medical f-t Edinburgh un-that. However without having a calling for profession of a physician, in two years passed on theological f-t Cambridge un-that which finished in 1831 with degree of the bachelor of arts. Upon termination of un-that he refused spiritual career and under the influence of the geologist prof. A. Sedgwick and the botanist J. Henslow decided to be engaged in studying of natural sciences, including zoology and geology. According to J. Henslow's proposal Ch. Darwin as the naturalist participated in a round-the-world travel by the Bigl ship (1831 — 1836). During swimming: Ch. Darwin made a number of trips across South America, New Zealand, Tasmania, South Africa and islands of the Atlantic, Indian and Quiet oceans, collected extensive geol., mineral, and paleontol. collections, and also materials on fauna and flora.

Under the influence of Layell's ideas (Ch. Lyell) about evolution of crust Ch. Darwin by the end of a travel by the Bigl ship finally came to a conclusion that the opinion standard at that time on an invariance of the animal species and plants created by allegedly creative act is insolvent.

Ch. Darwin expressed judgment that the existing plants and animals resulted from evolution from other types which were earlier living on the earth in «Notebook» (1837 — 1838), fragments from a cut for the first time were published only in 1887 in the book «Life and Ch. Darvin's Letters» under the editorship of his son Francis F. Darwin.

After the travel Ch. Darwin published a number of works on geology and zoology, including. «The diary of researches on natural history and geology of the countries visited during navigation of the ship of Her Majesty of Bigl round the world under team of the captain of the royal fleet of Fitzroy» (1839), «A structure and distribution of coral reeves» (1842) and the two-volume monograph «Usonogy Crayfish» (1851 — 1854) in which generalized results of the scientific analysis of the materials collected during the travel formulated a hypothesis of an origin of coral reeves, in detail described the living and fossil usonogy crayfish. At the same time it continued working on the theory of the origin of species of animals and plants, in 1842 prepared short, and in 1844 more expanded hand-written version of the book with a statement of this theory. In 1858 it continued to work on preparation of new version of the book devoted to theory of evolution, in a cut it documented more carefully and supported with a large amount of the actual material the views of evolution of plants and animals. This book Ch. Darwin did not finish working on and in 1859 published it in a short form under the name «The Origin of Species by Natural Selection, or Preservation of the Chosen Breeds in Struggle for Life». The publication of this unfinished work was connected with the letter received by Ch. Darvin in June, 1858 from the young English scientist A. Wallace where that stated the opinion of the origin of species, to the Crimea Ch. Darwin came for a long time. For the proof of a priority of Ch. Darvin in development of the theory of the origin of species J. D. Hooker and Layell in July, 1858 presented on a meeting Linnean about-va in London excerpt from the manuscript prepared in 1844 and Ch. Darvin's letter written in 1857 an amer. to the scientist A. Gray, and also Wallace's work. The same year in August these works were published in reports about-va. Ch. Darwin was already known as the outstanding researcher. In 1864 he got a medal of Royal society for work on a systematics of usonogy crayfish, there was the second edition a book «Travel by the Bigl Ship», numerous articles on geology and zoology were published. All his subsequent life and scientific activity was devoted to development and justification of the main sections of the theory of evolution.

The subsequent works of Ch. Darvin are devoted to further development of theory of evolution: «Change of domestic animals and cultivated plants» (1868), «An origin of the person and sexual selection» (1871) and the book «Expression of Emotions at the Person and Animals» which appeared one year later as addition to the last composition. In these works, first of all in the first of them, he considered the phenomena of variability of living beings both under the influence of domestication and cultivation, and in natural state. Ch. Darwin attributed changes of domestic animals and cultivated plants to artificial selection (see) which the person carried out from time immemorial at first unconsciously, and then methodically, leaving for reproduction of a form, corresponding to his desires and requirements. Ch. Darwin connected existence of wide variability in natural state with resettlement of the close types getting to unequal living conditions. In order that the changes arising in the nature could serve as material for evolution, they shall be inherited. Thus, variability and heredity became initial elements of theory of evolution of Ch. Darvin. For an explanation of emergence and the subsequent preservation of adaptive signs it entered a concept of «fight for existence» and showed value natural selection (see) as main factor in evolution of types. Reproduction of living beings happens in a geometrical progression that could lead to an overpopulation, at Krom living beings would lack food and even the free space in places of their dwelling on the land or water. The beginning constraining reproduction is, across Darwin, fight for existence, to-ruyu it understood in a broad sense as direct destruction, napr, plants vegetarians, and animals — predators or parasites, and various forms of the competition for living conditions, necessary for life, napr, plants for light or moisture. In fight for existence the individuals having this or that advantage over other individuals of the same look inhabiting this territory shall survive i.e. it is better protected, napr, from predators, the parasites better competing with other types, leaving bigger posterity, etc.

Having rejected the lamarkovsky principle of the active adaptation managed by a will of an animal, i.e. change in the direction, certain, useful to an animal,

Ch. Darwin put forward the idea of uncertain variability (see), in force a cut in the same living conditions there are most various changes: harmful, indifferent and useful. Only owners of the last have chance of survival in fight for existence. Fittest Ch. Darwin called this survival natural selection, having offered thereby strictly materialistic explanation for emergence of devices, i.e. reasonable signs of living beings in these conditions.

The principle which is put forward by Ch. Darvin a raskhozhdetion of signs and extinction of intermediate forms was important addition to the doctrine about fight for existence and natural selection. The divergence of characters allows their owners to use, without competing with each other, various conditions of dwelling. In the book «Change of Domestic Animals and Cultivated Plants» it generalized the huge material testimonial of great value of uncertain variability and artificial selection in creation by the person of breeds of domestic animals and grades of cultivated plants. In this book he tried to state in the speculative way the theory of heredity called by it «a temporary hypothesis of a pangenesis». In spite of the fact that this hypothesis was in the basis wrong (Darwin allowed existence of hypothetical particles the, or the «gemmules» separated by all bodies and even separate cells and gathering in reproductive elements — sex cells of an organism), it contained the idea of discretization of substance of heredity apprehended further by the doctrine about heredity — genetics. In the work «Origin of the Person» Ch. Darwin for the first time showed on sravnitelnoanatomichesky and comparative and embryological material relationship of the person with other animals and an origin of the person from the apelike ancestor. In the same place it entered the concept «sexual selection», at Krom secondary sexual characteristics (e.g., a bright coloring of males at some birds, horns of males of deer, etc.) can form a basis for selection; survive in fight for a female and the producers possessing the most expressed secondary sexual characteristics with to-rymi korrelyativno get out it for pairing force and viability of these producers are connected. In a number of botanical works it showed applicability of the theory of evolution for an explanation of a bizzare shape of flowers, napr, orchids («Various devices by means of which orchids are pollinated by insects», 1862).

Ch. Darwin established that in some cases the form of a flower matters for prevention of self-pollination and by that promotes cross-pollination, at Krom more numerous and stronger posterity is formed («Action of cross-pollination and self-pollination in flora», 1876). Usefulness for the sake of appearances of the phytogamy and signs providing its implementation became, thus, one of factors of natural selection.

On the example of evolution of the plants in particular curling Ch. Darwin showed adaptability of these plants, tracked the sequence of the evolutionary changes leading to emergence and fixing of the specified devices since circular rotation of a top of a stalk inherent in many plants — «The movements and habits of the climbing plants» (1865) and «Ability to the movement at plants» (1880). Ch. Darwin explained emergence of all these phenomena in flora with the uniform principle which is motive power of evolution — natural selection.

Ch. Darwin left huge scientific heritage. T. Gekeli specifies that the works published by it contain more than 8 thousand printing pages, as much — his scientific correspondence and apprx. 400 pages — articles published in various scientific magazines.

Characterizing scientific activity of Ch. Darvin, the propagandist and the popular writer of Darwinism in Russia K. A. Timiryazev claimed that Ch. Darwin considerably changed views to wildlife, having explained harmony and expediency of the phenomena in the organic world not from the point of view of idealistic initial expediency and «the final causes of old metaphysics», and causally and therefore materialistically. V. I. Lenin, estimating Ch. Darvin's role in formation of materialistic outlook in science, wrote that Ch. Darwin «... for the first time put biology on quite scientific ground, having established convertibility of types and succession between them...» (V. I. Lenin. Half-N of SOBR. soch., 5th prod., t. 1, p. 139). F. Engels who read «Origin of species» soon after its exit wrote K. Marx: «In general Darwin whom I read just now is excellent... still never before was so grandiose attempt to prove historical development in the nature in addition with such success» (K. Marx and F. Engels. Compositions, t. 29, p. 424). Answering Engels, Marx wrote on December 19, 1860 that Darwin book «... gives a natural-historical basis for our views» (K. Marx and F. Engels, Compositions, prod. the 2nd, M., 1963, t. 30, p. 102).

See also Darwinism , Theory of evolution .

Works: Compositions, t. 1 — 9, M. — L., 1935 — 1959.

Bibliography: Yeremeyev G. P. Ch. Darwin as physiologist, Usp. sovr, biol., t. 48, century 3, page 292, 1959, bibliogr.; H e to r the expert about in A. D. Charles Darwin, M., 1957; Sable S. L. Charles Darwin (popular sketch of life and scientific creativity), M., 1957, bibliogr.; Timiryazev K. A. Compositions, t. 7, M., 1939; Chancel 1 about of J. Charles Darwin, L., 1973, bibliogr.; Stecher R. M. a. Klavins J. V. Charles Darwin and the Moscow Society of Naturalists, J. Hist. Med., v. 20, p. 157, 1965.

L. Ya. Blyakher.