Charles Darwin By: zoe Okaisabor

Born in Shrewsbury, England, Charles Robert Darwin was a famous English naturalist who came up with the scientific theory of evolution, which states "that the various types of plants, animals, and other living things on Earth have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations".

Darwin attended Anglican Shrewsbury School from 1818 to 1825 , where he hated the system of education. Science was condemned in public schools in England and from a very young age, Darwin showed a strong interest in science. Darwin then moved on the University of Edinburgh, where he was meant to be studying medicine but he was actually taught aspects of Continental science by radical students of the university. Zoology was his main interest and he studied and observed different sea animals and presented his findings to other students at the university. After developing a stronger sense of self and interest at the University of Edinburgh, Darwin's father sent him off to Christ's College, Cambridge in 1828. Darwin now had a strong sense of religion as well as a good education. One of the reverends at Christ's College suggested that Darwin should go on a voyage, presently known as the Beagle voyage, that traveled the southern part of South America, studying zoology. Throughout this voyage, Darwin kept a diary which held over a 1000 entries of what he had observed over the 18 months. This voyage was a very important part of Darwin's life because it helped build Darwin's understanding of the bodies of various species but also left him with a lot of questions about why their bodies were designed the way they were.

After his voyage was over in 1836, Darwin worked with Charles Lyell, a superior being in geology and a good friend, and shared his observation with him. Darwin also released a cleaned up version of his voyage diary Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by H.M.S. Beagle (1839) and with the help of many, also published the accounts of the samples the animals he observed in his Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1838–43). These works helped him rise to fame and he moved to London to pursue his career. Later in his life, Darwin also built on Thomas Malthus' idea of population and concluded that "population explosions would lead to a struggle for resources and that the ensuing competition would weed out the unfit", now known as natural selection or in some cases, Social Darwinism.

The idea of evolution was a controversial issue in Europe. For some, Darwin's ideas were perceived as "anti-Christ" because they insinuated "that animals and human beings shared a common ancestry" rather than specially designed by God. Many believed that many of his "anti-Christ" ideas were a result of the psychological effect his daughter's death had on him. Others, especially scientists, liked his ideas, built off of them and , and made other scientific connections to the evolution. Darwin himself lost his faith as a Christian after the death of his daughter, Anne, but he didn't identify as an atheist either; he was an agnostic.

Charles Darwin died of a heart attack on April 19, 1882 in Downe, Kent. His analogy of evolution by natural selection had influenced aspects of science, literature and politics.

"Charles Darwin." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 10 Jun. 2016. Accessed 30 Jan. 2017.
Montgomery, William. "Charles Darwin: A Biography." Science, vol. 252, no. 5008, 1991, p. 992+. Academic OneFile, Accessed 30 Jan. 2017.
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Zoe Okaisabor

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