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Variation and inheritance
Collecting butterflies with different variations was fashionable in Victorian times. Darwin thought individual differences were inherited and wild animals would therefore have the potential to change also. He claimed, 'varieties are species in the process of formation'. It was a dangerous idea to displace gods work but Darwin believed he had discovered a natural process by which varieties could evolve into a brand new species.
Begin a review of this clip with its opening question ‘What did Darwin think about variation in butterflies?’ Ask students why Darwin was brave in suggesting this idea. Students could be extended by being asked what evidence Darwin based his ideas on.
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