The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory
This film explores the epic voyages of Darwin and Wallace that led each to independently propose the natural origin of species and formulate the theory of evolution by natural selection.
Up until the early 1800s, most people, scientists included, believed that every species was specially created by God in a form that never changed. The epic voyages and revolutionary insights of two brave young British naturalists, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, overturned this long-held idea. Prodigious collectors of animals and plants, each man developed a keen appreciation for the variation within species, the relatedness of species, and the patterns of geographic distribution, all of which was hard to reconcile with special creation. This hard-earned knowledge led each to ask why and how creatures came to live in a given place.
The “Abbreviated Film Guide” provides a short summary of the film, along with key concepts and connections to curriculum standards.
An audio descriptive version of the film is available via our media player.
Darwin, fossil, species distribution, Wallace
Darwin, Charles. 1859. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. London: John Murray.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS2.A, HS-LS3.B, HS-LS4.B, HS-LS4.C, HS-ESS1.C
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1, EVO-2, EVO-3
IB Biology (2016)
5.4, D.2, D.5
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.1, 2.6, 2.7
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Vision and Change (2009)