Charles Darwin Biography and Life Story
An English natural scientist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) set down a framework for the theory of evolution which revealed that how Man evolved from inferior life forms. That was the time when his research and publication directed to bitter controversy, however his theory of evolution and natural selection later became conventional within the scientific community.On 12th February 1809 Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. His family background was influential and wealthy because his grandfather was included in china manufacturer Wedgwood and Erasmus Darwin was one of the leading intellectuals of 18th century in England.
In the beginning Charles Darwin planned to study medicine from Edinburgh university, but in future at his father provocation he decided to study divinity at Christ’s college, Cambridge university. Charles Darwin was not a good student he actually prefers to spend time in outdoor pursuits; he love to spent a lot of time observing the natural-sciences and beetle collecting. Charles Darwin was offered a place on the HMS beagle, after gaining a passionate interest in natural sciences to act as a natural scientist on a voyage to coast of south America.
At that time, religion was a powerful force in society, and most people took the Bible as the infallible, literal word of God. This involved the certainty that God formed the world in seven days and the world was only a few thousand years old. However, on the journey, Charles Darwin began to recognize evidence that life was much older. Lyell’s Principles of Geology, in particular, suggested that fossils were evidence of animals that lived hundreds of thousands of years ago.
On the trip, Darwin made ample notes about specimens that he found on his travels. Especially on the Galapagos Islands 500 miles west of South America, Darwin was impressed with how the finch on each island was different. He noticed that the Finch had somehow adapted to the different aspects of each island.
Charles Darwin Theory
Over the next 20 years, Darwin worked on the dilemma of how species evolve and can end up being different on different islands. Darwin came up with a theory of natural selection and gradual evolution over time which is influenced, by the work of Malthus.
“In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.”
– Charles Darwin
Darwin continued to refine his theory and would breed plants to work on his theories. When it was recognized how controversial his ideas were, Darwin delayed the publication. It was not until another naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, learned that similar ideas had developed.In 1859, the groundbreaking “On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection” was published. It immediately gained great interest and attention, which led to a heated debate over the claim that man – implicitly descended from animals like the monkey.
“Owing to this struggle for life, any variation, however slight and from whatever cause proceeding, if it be in any degree profitable to an individual of any species, in its infinitely complex relationship to other organic beings and to external nature, will tend to the preservation of that individual, and will generally be inherited by its offspring.”
– Charles Darwin, Origin of Species (1859)
However, when he died on April 19, 1882, his ideas were increasingly accepted – at least by the scientific and non-religious society. He received a state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Charles Darwin Religious Beliefs
Darwin was educated in the Church of England and trained as an Anglican priest. Like many of his generation, he grabbed the Bible as the literal Word of God and sometimes quoted it as a source of ethical authority. But after his epic journey to South America, he became dubious of the Bible as a source of history; He also felt no reason why not all religions could be true.From 1849 he stopped going to church, although he never considered himself an atheist. He felt that “agnostic” was more in line with his beliefs. He wrote in his autobiography that he finally gave up Christianity because he did not agree with the conclusion that all non-believers spend eternity in hell.
“I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished.”
Charles Darwin was politically generous and an opponent of slavery. He experienced the violence of how people treated their slaves in a Spanish colony.
“I have watched how steadily the general feeling, as shown at elections, has been rising against Slavery. What a proud thing for England if she is the first European nation which utterly abolishes it!”
Letter to J. S. Henslow (March 1834)
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