Here is an attempt to sort out the most frequently asked questions surrounding Darwin’s Natural Selection Worksheet. What Darwin was trying to do in his famous book was to point out some inconsistencies that are inherent in the mechanics of evolution. So, while the workbook, developed from his ideas, may have been the catalyst for some of the uproar, it is important to understand the underlying foundation of Darwin’s work.
First, Darwin was attempting to show that the systems of living organisms can be explained through the workings of random genetic mutation and natural selection. Of course, the concept of these worksheets, and similar books, have very little to do with Darwin’s original thoughts. He never intended for his book to be read this way. His intent was to point out issues that were not fully appreciated by his contemporaries, as well as for researchers to delve into their own research for answers.
Second, the book was written in order to highlight the “wandering geniuses” of a particular work of art. This would be an attempt to point out that the artists had never meant to portray what they did as art in the first place. They simply made a whim based on the flow of the work. Such works were the work of simple thought that came into being due to random mutation. The future Darwin was actually quite right in his assessment.
Third, Darwin was actually a devoted student of the arts, both painting and music. But, he did not understand how those experiences translated into a form of visual art. In a sense, he was trying to put his point across that one should not presume the art piece to be flawless simply because it was created with artistic aspirations.
Fourth, Darwin was just looking for someone to listen to him and appreciate his artistry. He was not aiming to become a “Master Painter”. As you can see, he understood the need to compromise when creating and distributing the book. It was his intent to guide people in gaining knowledge, while creating an enjoyable and educational experience.
Fifth, Darwin wanted to produce a piece of work that could be displayed. In other words, he was attempting to make a statement with the creation of the worksheet. As a matter of fact, he tried to distribute the worksheet as much as possible, without being too ambitious in creating and selling a mass amount of worksheets.
Sixth, Darwin was trying to understand how a system could move forward without solid concrete proof. He knew that there had to be some kind of evidence or physical evidence that could explain the system. If no evidence exists, then the system must be flawed. As such, he knew that this would be the most powerful work of science education available to the general public.
Seventh, Darwin was asking for input. He was not talking to scientists, or others involved in the study of biology. He was simply offering his method of discovery for anyone that wanted to give him feedback.