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In 1859 Charles Darwin published his book Origin of Species which started the modern notion of microbe to man evolution. Actually many of the concepts can be traced to ancient Greece.
Darwin is said to have come up with the idea when he visited Galapagos Islands in the 1830s. He compared thirteen species of finches and concluded that all this had a common ancestor, and they probably did but it was a finch. However, he wrongfully concluded that all living things have a common ancestor. These finches are considered the same as kind of animals. They differ mainly in beak size.
Natural selection: The basic concept is that environmental conditions (or "nature") determine (or "select") how well particular traits of organisms can serve the survival and reproduction of the organism; organisms lacking these traits might die before reproducing.
Darwin is often credited with developing the concept of natural selection but it was actually developed by creationist Edward Blyth 25 years before Origin of Species. He saw it as a way of slowing the effects of degeneration with in a kind, by weeding out the worst mutations. So most creationists do not have a problem with natural selection, it seen as a form of quality control for organisms.
Evolutionary naturalism: an ancient idea
Darwins finches: Evidence supporting rapid post-Flood adaptation
The Beak of the Finch: Evolution in Real Time
Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?
Charles Darwin - The Truth?
Natural Selection Q&A