Darwin, Charles

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The founder of modern evolutionary biology and of the theory of the origin of species by means of natural selection. His "Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life" was published in 1859. His theory explained the origin of plant and animal species through a process of natural selection that tends to perpetuate adaptive variations. Its relevance for archaeology was to further the acceptance of the antiquity of man. In his book "The Descent of Man" (1871) he speculated that our closest relatives in the animal world were chimpanzee and gorilla and that Africa was our likely homeland.