Unseen Passage: Evolution Day

Reading Comprehension

Evolution Day

Do you know that November 24 is Evolution Day? Charles Darwin, an English naturalist, established that all species have life, have descended over time from common ancestry and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called Natural Selection. Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England on February 12, 1809 at his family home, the Mount. He was the fifth of six children of a wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin.

Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species was published on November 24, 1859, which is why this day is celebrated as Evolution Day. It is the work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. For the sixth edition of 1872, the short title was changed to the, On the Origin of Species.

Darwin’s book introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. Before developing his theories and writing this book, Darwin spent five years on HMS Beagle. The Beagle sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, and then carried out detailed hydrographical surveys around the coast of the southern part of South America, returning via Tahiti and Australia after having circumnavigated the Earth. Darwin spent most of the time on land investigating geology and making natural history collections, while the Beagle surveyed and charted coasts. Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossil, he collected on the voyage. Darwin began detailed investigations and in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. His work established him as an eminent geologist and the publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.

Q. Answer the following questions:

  1. Which day is celebrated as the Evolution Day and why?
  2. What did Charles Darwin prove?
  3. How do population evolve?
  4. Where did Darwin spend five years before writing his book?

Answer

  1. Darwin’s book, ‘On the Origin of Species’, was published on November 24, 1859, that is why this day is celebrated as Evolution Day.
  2. Charles Darwin proved the branching pattern of evolution.
  3. Population evolves over the course of generations through a process of natural selection.
  4. Darwin spent his five years on HMS Beagle which carried out detailed hydrographical surveys around the coasts.

Q. Choose the correct alternatives:

  1. What did his work establish him as?
    1. popular author
    2. publisher of his journal
    3. eminent geologist
    4. All of the above
  2. What was the full name of an English naturalist?
    1. Charles Darwin
    2. Charles Rabert Darwin
    3. Charles Robert Darwin
    4. Charles Robert
  3. Where did Darwin spend most of his time during his five years stay on HMS Beagle?
    1. investigating geology
    2. making natural history collections
    3. writing the theory of natural selection
    4. Both (1) and (2)
  4. Find words from the passage which means, ‘famous’.
    1. voyage
    2. eminent
    3. evolution
    4. Both (1) and (2)

Answer

  1. All of the above
  2. Charles Robert Darwin
  3. Both (1) and (2)
  4. eminent

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