Charles Darwin

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Childhood Days

Charles Robert Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, in Shrewsbury, England. His father was a successful doctor, as was his grandfather. His mother, who was the daughter of the famous pottery maker Josiah Wedgwood, died when Charles was eight. His sisters raised him. At the age of nine Charles entered Shrewsbury School but He was not a very good student.

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Childhood Days
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Teen Year's

In 1825 Darwin went to Edinburgh University in Scotland to study medicine, but he soon realized that he was unable to even watch an operation being performed. In 1828 he entered Christ's College, Cambridge, England, to become a minister but soon gave up. He attended John Stevens Henslow's course in botany (the study of plants), started a collection of beetles that became famous, and read widely. He received his bachelor's degree in 1831.

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Teen Year's
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Voyage on the Beagle

Darwin was offered the position of naturalist for the second voyage of H. M. S. Beagle to survey the coast of South America. The Beagle left in December 1831 and returned in October 1836. During the voyage Darwin studied many different plants and animals and collected many specimens.

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Voyage on the Beagle
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Observation by Darwin

Darwin noticed on the trip that certain types of organisms existed only in certain areas and that many organisms had undergone physical changes that made it easier for them to survive in their environment. For example, he studied a type of bird called a finch and realized that there were over a dozen different kinds. The size and shape of the beaks of these birds differed depending on what kind of food was available in the area each lived in.

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Observation by Darwin
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Publication of Researches

Darwin's Journal of Researches was published in 1839. A number of scientists wrote articles on fossils (the preserved remains of creatures from an earlier age), living mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles. Darwin edited the work. He contributed information on the habits and ranges of the animals.

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Publication of Researches
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Further reserch to support findings

In 1842 and 1844 Darwin wrote short accounts of his views on evolution (change and improvement over time). However, it caused great controversy (dispute) and criticism of the authors. He decided to do more research. He studied the practices of pigeon breeders, he conducted experiments on differences in plants and animals over time.

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Further reserch to support findings
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Research presentation

In June 1858, when Darwin was halfway through his writing, he received an essay from another naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, containing the theory of evolution by natural selection, the same theory Darwin was working on. They arranged for a reading of a combined paper and it was presented at a meeting of the Linnaean Society in London, England, on July 1. The paper had little effect on the world.

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Research presentation
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'Origin of Species' published

In November 1859 Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. His basic idea was that in the struggle to survive, some organisms adapt better than others to their surroundings, and when these survivors give birth they pass their traits on to their offspring, causing species to evolve. The publication of Darwin's book brought worldwide attention to his theory.

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'Origin of Species' published
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'The Descent of Man' - a worldwide uproar

Darwin showed how the survival of an organism may be dependent on seemingly unimportant qualities.He expanded on a topic he had introduced in Origin. With his next book, ‘The Descent of Man,’ Darwin caused an uproar by suggesting that humans and apes both could be traced to a common ancestor.

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'The Descent of Man' - a worldwide uproar
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Farewell

This great man who lived in an world which blindly followed simple rules, and put forth the great theory of evolution, died on April 19, 1882, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

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Farewell
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