The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, a groundbreaking scientific work by British naturalist Charles Darwin, is published in England.
Darwin’s theory argued that organisms gradually evolve through a process he called natural selection. In natural selection, organisms with genetic variations that suit their environment tend to propagate more descendants than organisms of the same species that lack the variation, thus influencing the overall genetic make-up of the species.
Darwin acquired most of the evidence for his theory during a five-year British surveying expedition in the 1830s. Visiting places such as the Galapagos Islands and New Zealand, Darwin acquired an intimate knowledge of the flora, fauna, and geology of many lands.
His Origin of Species, the first significant work on the theory of evolution, was greeted with great interest in the scientific world but was attacked by religious leaders for its contradiction of the Biblical account of creation.