Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin by Paul Don Smith. Photo by MSSaraKelly

Charles Darwin – Life and Work

The Origin of Species

Click here to read Darwin’s landmark book, The Origin of Species.

Charles Darwin, famed naturalist and the founding father of evolutionary theory, was born 12 February 1809 in Shrewsbury, England, U.K. From a young age he was fascinated with the natural world, spending much of his time outdoors, gardening, fishing, and bug catching. He married in 1839 and went on to father ten children. He was even more prolific with the publication of his studies.

Charles Darwin’s best known work is his 1859 book The Origin of Species, in which he laid out extensive evidence to support his theory of evolution. His famous trips to the Galapagos Islands on the HMS Beagle, where he studied the beaks of mockingbirds among other species, were the inspiration for his landmark book.

Charles Darwin was also the author of the wildly influential work, The Descent of Man. Along with his other notable works, these studies earned Charles Darwin an insurmountable reputation as a scientist. His legacy has carried through to present day, where he is still read and studied at eminent schools of science.  He is the subject of David Attenborough’s documentary, Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life.

Charles Darwin died 19 April 1882.

Charles Darwin at Cambridge

Charles Darwin’s father sent his son to Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, in hopes that Charles would become and Anglican parson. Charles Darwin instead became infatuated with the natural sciences. A friend introduced him to beetle collecting, a hobby Charles Darwin took up zealously. It was at University of Cambridge that he took up the idea of canaries being a key subject of study for evolution.

Darwin’s peers at Cambridge were the ones who connected him with the captain of the HMS Beagle, and helped launch his famous voyages.

Darwin College at University of Cambridge is named for him.

Darwin College

Darwin College from the water. Photo by Gunnar Grimnes.

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