The Origin of Species Revised March 2018
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The Origin of Species:
The Making of a Theory
NAME_______________________ _________________ DATE
This handout supplements the short film The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory.
1. One of Alfred Russel Wallace’s motivations to travel to South America and the Malay Archipelago collecting
plants and animals was to sell his specimens to museums and collectors. What was Wallace’s other major
a. To be a companion to the ship’s captain.
b. To add more evidence to Charles Darwin’s natural selection theory.
c. To understand the origin of species.
d. To save enough money to buy his own ship.
2. When Charles Darwin set sail on his five-year journey on the HMS Beagle, both he and most of his
contemporary scientists thought that
a. each species was specially created by God in its present form and did not change over time.
b. each species was a product of natural laws and changeable over time.
c. each species had been selectively bred by humans after the invention of agriculture.
d. each species had evolved into its present form by way of genetic mutation.
3. Which pair of characteristics (similarity and difference) are both correct comparisons of Darwin and
Both Darwin and Wallace were
Darwin published his natural selection theory in an 1839
book, whereas Wallace published his natural selection
theory in a scientific paper in 1859.
Both Darwin’s and Wallace’s ideas
about natural selection were revealed
to the scientific community at the same
Darwin’s ideas about natural selection were inspired by
what he observed on the Galápagos Islands, while
Wallace’s ideas about natural selection were inspired by
what he observed on the Malay Archipelago.
Both Darwin and Wallace collected
specimens on the Galápagos Islands.
Before each began collecting specimens around the
Southern Hemisphere, Darwin thought species arose by
way of natural causes, while Wallace thought species were
specially created by God.
Both Darwin and Wallace formulated
the natural selection theory at the
Wallace came from a wealthy, upper-class family, whereas
Darwin grew up in a family that did not have much money.
4. Darwin and Wallace both gathered a large number of observations and facts on which they based their
theories. Which of the following types of evidence was NOT part of the evidence they gathered?
a. fossil evidence
b. anatomical evidence
c. geographical distribution
d. genetic evidence