Commentaries on the Exhibit’s Works




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A brief commentary prepared by Susan Davis, PhD, Associate Professor, Psychology, on the following work:

Charles Darwin
On the Origin of Species
London, 1859; first edition; presentation copy


In his work to produce this volume, Charles Darwin amassed a wealth of empirical evidence to support evolutionary theory. But he also provided the research community—well beyond the natural sciences—with a model of how to “do” good science when investigating complex relationships.In the field of psychology, for instance, Darwin had obvious impacts on the growth of comparative psychology—the study of animals to learn about human behavior—and the emergence of the field of evolutionary psychology, the foundation of which is that evolutionary processes shape not only the body, but also the brain, brain processes, and behaviors as adaptations for problem solving.Darwin’s Origin inspired systematic investigation and creative thought, offering powerful explanations for biological and mental adaptation and growth. It’s also an exemplar of data meticulously presented in support of well-conceived arguments, couched in writing that can engage scientists and nonscientists alike.

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Darwin: ‘On the Origin of Species’


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