Darwin's Contribution

by Kenneth C. Gass

It is a rare event when someone’s work shakes the foundations
Of many institutions and beliefs across the nations,
And shows objective evidence that points to a solution
That bravely tells it all as much as Darwin’s contribution.

The subject on the table is how all the plants and creatures,
Especially ourselves, have come to be, with all our features.
We all have heard the arguments. At times they are not pleasant.
It helps to know the history that brought us to the present.

Our early understanding of our origins was meager.
We had little to go by, but philosophers were eager
To learn the truth about the universe in which we’re living.
They did not know where this would lead or what the truth was giving.

Philosophers in ancient Greece and Rome made observations,
Recording them in some detail for future generations.
" It seems that Nature makes more than it needs," those men had stated.
" The fit ones carry on, but the unfit eliminated."

While ages passed, society imposed severe restrictions
On how to view the world and life, but some still had convictions.
The brave ones fought persistently to go on with their thesis.
The task at hand was simply to assemble all the pieces.

But first the pieces had to be discovered and collected.
If they did not prove logical, those pieces were rejected.
Some pieces came from Greece and Rome. They’re just as good as any.
And men like Hutton, Brongniart and Charles Lyell added many.

There came a point when learned men and women were agreeing
With most of what the scientists today are prone to seeing.
But one piece was the subject of the clergy’s staunch rejection.
The piece came from Charles Darwin; it was natural selection.

Still, Darwin stood up to his friends and rivals, while prevailing.
He knew that theory based on fact was not prone to derailing.
“ The Origin” exemplified his brilliant execution
Of proving the reality we know as “Evolution.”


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