by Dan Folk/Smithsonianmag.com
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species rattled Victorian readers in 1859, even though it said almost nothing about how the idea of evolution applied to human beings. A dozen years later, in 1871, he tackled that subject head-on. In The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, published 150 years ago this month, Darwin argued forcefully that all creatures were subject to the same natural laws, and that humans had evolved over countless eons, just as other animals had. “Man,” he wrote, “still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.”
In Descent, Darwin details a theory that he calls “sexual selection”—the idea that, in many species, males battle other males for access to females, while in other species females choose the biggest or most attractive males to bond with. The male-combat theory would explain, for example, the development of a bull’s horns, or a moose’s antlers, while the quintessential example of “female choice” is seen in peahens, which, Darwin argued, prefer to mate with peacocks having the biggest, most colorful tails. For Darwin, sexual selection was just as important as natural selection, which he had outlined in Origin—the idea that organisms with favorable traits are ….read more:
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.