charles robert darwin

Charles Robert Darwin Biography

English geologist and naturalist, Charles Robert Darwin was born on 12 February 1809 in The Mount, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. He was best known for his contributions regarding the science of evolution. He determined that all species of life have originated over time from common ancestors, and in a combined publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he presented his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution came from a process that he called natural selection, wherein the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

Charles Darwin Theory of Evolution

evolution theory of darwin

Theory of Evolution

In 1859 Darwin published his theory of evolution with convincing evidence in his book ‘On the Origin of Species’, where her overcame the scientific rejection of previous ideas of transmutation of species. The scientific community along with most of the general public had acknowledged evolution as a fact by the 1870s. Nevertheless, many still preferred the opposing explanations and it was not until the 1930s to the 1950s with the rise of the modern evolutionary synthesis that a broad unanimity developed in which natural selection was the fundamental mechanism of evolution. In revised form, Darwin’s scientific breakthrough is the unifying theory of the life sciences which explains the diversity of life.

Charles Darwin Achievements

In 1838 Darwin conceived his theory of natural selection after he began his detailed investigations when he was puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage. Even though he discussed his ideas with numerous naturalists, he required time for detailed research along with his priority to his geological work. Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay in 1858 that described the same idea when he was writing up his theory. Thus, bringing about instant joint publication of both of their theories. Darwin’s theory established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature.Darwin neglected his medical education at the University of Edinburgh because of his early interest in nature where he instead helped to investigate marine invertebrates. His passion for natural science was further encouraged from his studies at the University of Cambridge. He was established as an outstanding geologist from his five-year voyage on HMS Beagle where his observations and theories supported Charles Lyell’s uniformitarian ideas. Moreover publication of his journal of the voyage earned him the title of being a popular author.

Darwin examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man in 1871, in addition to Selection in Relation to Sex, which was followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. His research on plants was published in a series of books. In 1881 he published his final book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Actions of Worms where  he examined earthworms and their effect on soil.

Darwin has been termed as one of the most important individual in human history. Darwin passed away on 19 April 1882 due to anginal attacks and heart-failure. He had expected to be buried in St Mary’s churchyard at Downe but was instead was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey.

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