20 Biology Essay Topics: What to Discuss about Alfred Russel Wallace vs Charles Darwin

Topics and ideas
Posted on December 2, 2015

If you are tasked with writing a controversial essay on the topic of Alfred Russell Wallace versus Charles Darwin, it is important that you pick a controversial topic about which you can substantiate an argumentative paper.

If you are having any difficulties finding the perfect topic, look over the list of 20 topics below:

  1. Apply Wallace’s Idea in an Animal Species of Your Choosing That Variation in Animal Species Is Indicative of the Necessary Changes
  2. The Impact of Darwin’s Work on His Colleagues
  3. How Publishing Books Compares to Publishing Articles in Academic Journals (is Darwin better known around the world then and today because he published multiple books widely available to the masses, or would he have been less famous if he followed in the footsteps of Wallace and published only academic journal articles for those within his field?)
  4. How Darwin Influenced His Field Compared to How Wallace’s Impact
  5. What Impact Can the Length of Time Have on Biological Studies? (comparing the notes by Wallace and Darwin from Brazil, and the amount of time each spent there)
  6. “The Descent of Man” and the Impact It Continues to Have Today
  7. The Formal Education: Wallace vs Darwin
  8. Did Darwin Steal Wallace’s Theory of Natural Selection?
  9. “The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals” and the Impact It Had at the Time of Its Publication
  10. The Comparison of Two Different Adaptations Made by Two Species Living in Different Ecosystems (e.g. the development of improved hearing and the loss of eyesight for lizards that dwell in pitch black caves in South America compared to now-land-based species which have grown larger eyeballs since emerging from their prehistoric ocean-based counterpart)
  11. How Important Is Formal Education? (Wallace didn’t get formal education)
  12. Why Both Wallace and Darwin Discovered the Theory of Natural Selection Independently but Only One is Referred to Today
  13. How Wallace’s Concept That Each Part of an Animal’s Organization Can Be Modified as Necessary to an Exact Specification to Prevent Extinction Can be Applied to People Living in Space
  14. The Events Which Caused Wallace to Go from Being the Most Famous Biologist around the World at the Time of His Death, to be Overshadowed After
  15. Why “Darwin Theory of Evolution” Today Changed from Its Original “The Darwin-Wallace Theory of Evolution”
  16. The Theory of Evolution and What Evidence Is Presented to Support It
  17. “The Power of Movement in Plants” and How It Is Relevant Today
  18. Why Do Certain Organizations Continue to Ignore the Theory of Natural Selection and Evolution?
  19. The Importance of Information Presented by Both Wallace and Darwin in Today’s World
  20. The Impact That the Findings of either Wallace or Darwin Has Had on Other Fields Beyond Biology

Sample Essay: “Theories of Evolution and Natural Selection”

The Theory of Evolution and that of Natural Selection were proposed in 1859 and have since remained ignored by individual sections of society. Certain organizations continue to ignore the theory of natural selection and evolution because of its conflict with their personal beliefs. This is something namely associated with religious organizations, as many of Darwin’s counterparts accepted his beliefs after a few decades.

Charles Darwin published his book on the idea of natural selection and the theory of origins in 1859. This book details how every species originates from common ancestors and how each species has the unique ability to adapt itself over time to existing environments. Traits which are no longer viable to the overall survival of a species are eventually removed from the genetic code of the species, replaced by more desirable traits.

Upon publishing this information, many scientific members of the community did not agree with all of the information being presented. It took decades for all members of the educated and scientific communities to come around to acceptance, something which took place after substantial review of the data and evidence Darwin presented. Upon confirmation that he was not the only one to present such findings, this theory was widely accepted. Darwin began to discuss the implication of these findings with other communities, such as philosophers and religious leaders.

Then, as it remains today, many religious units fail to accept the theory of evolution in the face of substantial scientific evidence. Certain religious groups, such as those following Ken Hamm, do not accept the theory or the evidence because they claim the scientific method itself to be flawed, to be a unique way of testing data which they do not accept. Other religious groups such as Protestant followers do not accept the theory of evolution or natural selection because it implies that all beings originate from the same ancestor and in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament, there are verses which state that it was a deity who created a list of species one day after the next, and not that all species came from one another. For this reason, many groups refuse today to accept the scientifically proven results presented by Darwin.

Darwin, Charles, Frederick Burkhardt, and Duncan M. Porter. The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. Vol. 13. Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Darwin, Charles. More letters of Charles Darwin: a record of his work in a series of hitherto unpublished letters. Vol. 2. D. Appleton, 1903.
Darwin, Charles, Paul Ekman, and Phillip Prodger. The expression of the emotions in man and animals. Oxford University Press, USA, 1998.
Spruce, Richard, and Alfred Russel Wallace. Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon and Andes. Vol. 2. Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Wallace, Alfred Russel. The geographical distribution of animals: with a study of the relations of living and extinct faunas as elucidating the past changes of the earth’s surface. Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Wallace, Alfred Russel, and James Marchant. Alfred Russel Wallace: letters and reminiscences. Harper, 1916.
Wallace, Alfred Russel, and Sir James Marchant. Alfred Russel Wallace. Cassell, Limited, 1916.

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