Charles Darwin

Geologist, Academic

1809 – 1882

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Who was Charles Darwin?

Charles Robert Darwin, FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.

Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh; instead, he helped to investigate marine invertebrates. Studies at the University of Cambridge encouraged his passion for natural science. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.

Famous Quotes:

  • There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
  • “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
  • "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

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Born
Feb 12, 1809
Shrewsbury
Also known as
  • Charles Robert Darwin
  • Darwin, Charles
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Agnosticism
  • Anglicanism
Ethnicity
  • British people
  • Caucasian race
Nationality
  • United Kingdom
Profession
Education
  • Shrewsbury School
    (1818/09 - )
  • University of Edinburgh
    Medicine
    (1825/10 - )
  • University of Cambridge
  • Christ's College, Cambridge
  • University of Edinburgh Medical School
Lived in
  • Downe, Kent
  • London
  • Shrewsbury
  • England
Died
Apr 19, 1882
Down House
Resting place
Westminster Abbey

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Charles Darwin." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Dec. 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/charles_darwin>.

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