「自然史博物館を貫く精神」


第2章では、科学者が地球の大いなる神秘を解明する際にインスピレーションとなった貴重な品々をご覧いただけます。 過去3世紀に渡り、先見性のある人々は自然界を支配する科学法則の礎を築いてきました。彼らはそれぞれに疑問を投げかけ、限界に挑戦し、科学者による地球とその生物の定義や理解に議論をもちこみました。

本ギャラリーでは、今日に至るまで多くの影響を与えてきた書物の一つ、チャールズ・ダーウィン著『種の起源』の手書きページを公開しています。
 

ダーウィンによる『種の起源』の原稿
Darwin’s On the Origin of Species Manuscript
Around 1858–1859
 

 

On the Origin of Species is one of the most influential books ever written. This draft page, handwritten by Charles Darwin, comes from the chapter on instinct. Darwin finally published his book in 1859 after refining his ideas for 20 years. He knew it would be controversial to suggest that species evolved gradually and naturally, without the intervention of a divine authority, but the first edition was instantly sold out.

Beetles collected by Alfred Russel Wallace
Beetles collected by Alfred Russel Wallace Darwin’s On the Origin of Species Manuscript
Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia 

While Alfred Russel Wallace was exploring the Molucca islands in Indonesia, he first formulated the concept of natural selection, the same mechanism that Charles Darwin had realised was key to evolution. One of Wallace’s inspirations was the incredible range of beetles he found in the region – 83,200 of which he collected. Here are just a few from his findings in the Malay Archipelago, now Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. 

Sir Richard Owen
 
Sir Richard Owen  
 

A heavyweight thinker and distinguished comparative anatomist, Sir Richard Owen was well-known for his strong views and regular clashes with colleagues. He used his immense skill to identify extinct creatures and was the first person to name and describe dinosaurs, he was also credited to describe in detail the dodo bird.