Charles Darwin managed to piss off a lot of people, especially religious ones when in 1859 he brought to the world the idea that all life forms on Earth are somehow related to each other. In a profoundly religious world, Darwin’s scientific literature book called ‘On the Origin of Species’ was strongly rejected. How could humans, who are supposedly God’s majestic creation, be considered equal to animals? That’s what people had in their minds.
But was Darwin right or wrong? Surely there are a lot of similarities between animals and us, but there are also many differences: humans have consciousness, the ability to create, proclivity to what the future can offer, and more.
Subspecies play a critical role in evolution
Laura van Holstein, who is a Ph.D. student in Biological Anthropology at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, claims that it has proven one of Darwin’s theories. van Holstein claims she has proven that subspecies play a huge role in the development of evolution. She defended her discovery by saying:
“We are standing on the shoulders of giants. In Chapter 3 of On the Origin of Species Darwin said animal lineages with more species should also contain more ‘varieties’. Subspecies is the modern definition. My research investigating the relationship between species and the variety of subspecies proves that sub-species play a critical role in long-term evolutionary dynamics and in future evolution of species. And they always have, which is what Darwin suspected when he was defining what a species actually was.”
van Holstein’s research also confirmed that evolution occurs differently in land and sea mammals than it does in the case of bats. It’s because of differences in their habitats and the ability to roam freely.
Whether Darwin was right or not, there will also be skeptics out there ready to deny everything. The research of van Holstein was published today, March 18, in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.