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Online Course for Teachers: Teaching Evolution

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SESSION 2: How Does Darwin's Theory of Evolution
Illustrate the Process of Science?

Explain Part A: Darwin's Observations

Upon his return from the voyage of the Beagle, Darwin spent some 20 years collecting evidence and developing his theory of evolution by natural selection. Consider how Darwin used the scientific process to develop his theory, by examining his observations, experiments, and reflections.

Darwin was a seasoned naturalist and keen observer before he ever stepped onto the Beagle. The five-year voyage of the Beagle gave a breadth and depth to his knowledge about the natural world that contributed a great deal to his thinking. Review some of the observations on which Darwin based his theory of natural selection.

Screenshot of the Darwin's Diary Web activity showing a timeline of Darwin's life and some childhood photos.


Read this example from Darwin's journal from his voyage on the Beagle.


Explore the "Voyage of the Beagle" and "Origin of Species" themes in the Darwin's Diary Web activity.

Darwin's Diary

3. Think about these questions:


What patterns does Darwin describe?


What is the significance of these observations?


Facilitator Note 3


Next: Explain Part B: Darwin's Evidence

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