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The origin of the species – Charles Darwin

On November 24, 1859, the English naturalist, Charles Darwin, published the text that will forever change the theories on human evolution, “The origin of the species”. The basic concept was that groups of organisms belonging to the same species evolved through natural selection.

The latter is a process in which only the strongest and most adaptable species survive: by surviving, they have more chances to reproduce and therefore have a better chance of transmitting to their descendants those characters that helped them survive. On the other hand, weak organisms, unable to reproduce, will have no way of having their traits inherited to future generations.

This created a lot of confusion at the time because it was in stark contrast to the “theory of creation”, which defined the species as God’s creation and placed man above the animal kingdom.

Darwin considered at the time, as the strongest individuals, those capable of adapting better to the environment. Considering the animal world, but also the man of the past, these characteristics often coincided with greater physical strength. Are we sure that these criteria are still relevant? What role does communication play in evolution? Some theories of today see the evolution in communication as a process and a result of natural selection. Verbal communication, in addition to being a process of cultural adaptation, also appears to be so in biological terms. This hypothesis is in line with the thesis of the coevolution between brain and language.

Other theories, for example that of researchers Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods of Duke University, see cooperation as a winning factor in evolution. Starting from the study of animals, they were able to notice how more peaceful species and able to collaborate with each other, are able to survive and procreate more than their violent and solitary counterparts. According to the researchers, the success of our species depends on our ability to collaborate and thanks to communication, typically human, we are able to overcome even the most difficult social problems.