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Charles Darwin, al final de su libro, nos indica cual es la principal conclusión en relación al origen del hombre:
 
'''
{{cita|La principal conclusión a la que aquí se ha llegado, y que actualmente apoyan muchos naturalistas que son bien competentes para formar un juicio sensato, es que el hombre desciende de alguna forma altamente menos organizada. Los fundamentos sobre los que reposa esta conclusión nunca se estremecerán, porque la estrecha semejanza entre el hombre y los animales inferiores en el desarrollo embrionario, así como en innumerables puntos de estructura y constitución, tanto de importancia grande como nimia (los rudimentos que conserva y las reversiones anómalas a las que ocasionalmente es propenso) son hechos incontestables.<ref>[http://books.google.es/books?id=KNIehn_JR0wC&pg=PA800&dq=el+origen+del+hombre+principal+conclusi%C3%B3n&hl=es&sa=X&ei=rXxHT6qVIMqnhAfA3qCqDg&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=el%20origen%20del%20hombre%20principal%20conclusi%C3%B3n&f=false Charles Darwin, El origen del hombre, Crítica, Traducción de Joan Domenec Ros, 2009, ISBN 978-84-9892-037-6, Barcelona, pág. 800]</ref>}}'''
 
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[[File:Alfred Russel Wallace.jpg|upright|right|thumb|Wallace argued that the "drab" [[peahen]]'s coloration was as much evolved as the flamboyant peacock's.]]
 
Darwin's views on [[sexual selection]] were opposed strongly by his co-discoverer of natural selection, [[Alfred Russel Wallace]], though much of his "debate" with Darwin took place after Darwin's death. Wallace argued against [[sexual selection]], saying that the male-against-male fighting aspects were simply forms of [[natural selection]], and that the notion of "female choice" was attributing the ability to judge standards of beauty to animals far too cognitively undeveloped to be capable of aesthetic feeling (such as [[beetle]]s).ly published in two separate volumes, though Darwin himself insisted that it was indeed one complete and coherent work. The two 450-page volumes together were priced at [[Pound sterling|£]]1&nbsp;4&nbsp;[[shilling]]s, and ''The Descent of Man'' was published on 24 February 1871.<ref name=Freeman>{{harvnb|Freeman|1977|loc=[http://darwin-online.org.uk/EditorialIntroductions/Freeman_TheDescentofMan.html Darwin Online: The Descent of Man]}}</ref>
 
Wallace also argued that Darwin too much favored the bright colors of the male peacock as adaptive without realizing that the "drab" [[peahen]]'s coloration is itself adaptive, as [[camouflage]]. Wallace more speculatively argued that the bright colors and long tails of the peacock were ''not'' adaptive in any way, and that bright coloration could result from non-adaptive physiological development (for example, the internal organs of animals, not being subject to a visual form of natural selection, come in a wide variety of bright colors). This has been questioned by later scholars as quite a stretch for Wallace, who in this particular instance abandoned his normally strict "[[adaptationist]]" agenda in asserting that the highly intricate and developed forms such as a peacock's tail resulted by sheer "physiological processes" that were somehow not at all subjected to adaptation.
 
===Effect on society ===
The book was printed just as an insurrection led by socialists and republicans took over Paris and set up the [[Paris Commune]], which was then besieged by French troops. ''[[The Times]]'' condemned the Communards, and accused Darwin of undermining authority and principles of morality, opening the way to "the most murderous revolutions". A "man incurs a grave responsibility when, with the authority of a well-earned reputation, he advances at such a time the disintegrating speculations of this book." Darwin was able to shrug this off as from a "windbag full of metaphysics and classics".
 
In January [[1871]], [[Thomas Huxley]]'s former disciple, the anatomist [[St. George Jackson Mivart|St. George Mivart]], had published ''On the Genesis of Species'' as a devastating critique of natural selection. In an anonymous ''Quarterly Review'' article, he claimed that the ''Descent of Man'' would unsettle "our half educated classes" and talked of people doing as they pleased, breaking laws and customs. An infuriated Darwin guessed that Mivart was the author and, thinking "I shall soon be viewed as the most despicable of men", looked for an ally. In September, Huxley wrote a cutting review of Mivart's book and article and a relieved Darwin told him "How you do smash Mivart's theology... He may write his worst & he will never mortify me again". As [[1872]] began, Mivart politely inflamed the argument again, writing "wishing you very sincerely a happy new year" while wanting a disclaimer of the "fundamental intellectual errors" in the ''Descent of Man''. This time, Darwin ended the correspondence.
 
{{Expand section|date=June 2008}}
 
==Publication ==
As Darwin wrote, he posted chapters to his daughter [[Darwin — Wedgwood family|Henrietta]] for editing to ensure that damaging inferences could not be drawn, and also took advice from his wife [[Emma Darwin|Emma]]. The corrected proofs were sent off on 15 January 1871 to the publisher [[John Murray (publisher)|John Murray]].
 
The book was initially published in two separate volumes, though Darwin himself insisted that it was indeed one complete and coherent work. The two 450-page volumes together were priced at [[Pound sterling|£]]1&nbsp;4&nbsp;[[shilling]]s, and ''The Descent of Man'' was published on 24 February 1871.<ref name=Freeman>{{harvnb|Freeman|1977|loc=[http://darwin-online.org.uk/EditorialIntroductions/Freeman_TheDescentofMan.html Darwin Online: The Descent of Man]}}</ref>
 
Within three weeks of publication, a reprint had been ordered; and 4,500 copies were in print by the end of March [[1871]], netting Darwin almost £1,500.<ref>{{harvnb|Moore, James and Desmond, Adrian 2004, p. li}}</ref> Darwin's name created demand for the book, but the ideas were old news. "Everybody is talking about it without being shocked," which he found, "...proof of tthe increasing liberality of England" (see the 1871 book review in [[#External links|External links]]).
 
===Editions and reprints===
''Descent'' went through a large number of revised editions, many of which Darwin edited himself (and some edited by his children). Some edits were minor, and some extensive. In late [[1873]], Darwin tackled a new edition of the ''Descent of Man''. Initially, he offered the self-employed Wallace the work of assisting him, for which Wallace quoted a rate of seven shillings an hour. But, when Emma found out, she had the task given to their son [[George Howard Darwin|George]], so Darwin had to write apologetically to Wallace. Huxley assisted with an update on ape-brain inheritance, which Huxley thought "pounds the enemy into a jelly... though none but anatomists" would know it. The manuscript was completed in April [[1874]]. Murray planned a 12-shilling half-price edition to replicate the success of the cheap revision of the ''Origin''. The second edition was published on 13 November 1874 with the price cut to the bone at 9 shillings. It was generally the edition most commonly reprinted after Darwin's death and to the present.
 
Within three weeks of publication, a reprint had been ordered; and 4,500 copies were in print by the end of March [[1871]], netting Darwin almost £1,500.<ref>{{harvnb|Moore, James and Desmond, Adrian 2004, p. li}}</ref> Darwin's name created demand for the book, but the ideas were old news. "Everybody is talking about it without being shocked," which he found, "...proof of t
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== Referencias==