Historian: Darwin's 20 Years After the Voyage

Describe role: The Galapagos Archipelago was the place that inspired Darwin to write his revolutionary theories. He did not realize the true significance of what he had observed there until many years later when he was studying the field notes and specimens that he brought back with him from his around the world voyage. He also observed fossils, living species and ran experiments. When he returned to England in 1836 he never left the country. He was ill most of his remaining life, perhaps with some strange disease he contacted on his long voyage. You are to explore and document his life after his trip up to the time he presented his theory in conjunction with Alfred Russel Wallace in 1858 to the scientific community. He followed this with the publication of The Origin of the Species in 1859.

Background Information: You are to follow the URL's provided below and read the information. From this information you are to prepare your report that you will present to the larger group.

Charles Darwin Foundation with links to many animals, volcanoes, history, island information

General information about Islands

Good source for history

History of evolution and Darwin with good graphic of evolutionary timelive for last 300 years.

You may also refer back to the sites listed on the Process page for information from Darwin's Journal:

Voyage of the Beagle, Chapter 17

Full text of Origin of the Species and Voyage of the Beagle

Report: You are to present your report in the form of a research paper to the Research Group (which will be the rest of the class). You are encouraged to use visuals...overhead transparency, photographs, or photos from the web to present your informataion. Each member of your team should have part in the presentation. You should be well organized so that you can present your report withing 10-15 minutes. It is preferred that you not read the report but rather explain what you learned in your own words using an outline. Images from the Internet may be projected on our TV in our room if you have the URL.

You should include in the report:

1. How did Darwin finally reach the conclusion that evolution had occured?

2. How did he finally resolve the central question: if evolution occurred, by what means did it occur?

3. Who else was arriving at the same conclusions that Darwin was making?

4. Why was his book, The Origin of the Species considered the most controversial book ever written?

5. What kind of discoveries and research has been done in the last century to confirm Darwin's theories?