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Darwin's Argument

            Darwin's On the Origin of Species clearly contains the characteristics of a scientific paper in the sense that he presents a thesis, and rigorously supports it though abundant documentation of natural observations as well as experimental data. However unlike most scientific papers, his target audience is not specific to the men of his field. Instead, he argues against Creationism specifically and with it virtually all of Victorian England. Darwin carefully crafts his opening chapter to immediately grant him credit with the scientific community, but more importantly, the commoner through the use of common examples that essentially all people at the time had first hand experience with: domestic plants and animals. He first establishes themes that he, in subsequent chapters, later elaborates and extrapolates to all of nature. It mainly though Darwin's persuasive writing that he is able to have such deep sociological impact.
             Very early, he establishes the analogous of natural selection in the domestic setting: "The key is man's power of accumulative selection: nature gives successive variation; man adds them up in certain directions useful to him" (Darwin 30). Darwin applies this concept in animals (pigeons and livestock) as well as plants. In some cases such as the pigeons, the selection is a conscious process; the breeders will look at a certain aspect, such as color, size, shape, and develop specific varieties. .
             However Darwin's argument gains the most strength from the less deliberate selection that nearly everyone practices. Examples of this are when seed-raisers remove the plants that do not meet standard or how breeders will almost instinctively prevent their worst animals from breeding. This "selection, which may be called Unconscious, and which results from every one trying to possess and breed from the best individual animals" will improve any species at a slow pace (Darwin 34).

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