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Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English
naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecul ...
,
geologist A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid, liquid, and gaseous matter that constitutes Earth and other terrestrial planets, as well as the processes that shape them. Geologists usually study geology, although backgrounds in physics, chem ...

geologist
and
biologist A biologist is a professional who has specialized knowledge in the field of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Mol ...
, best known for his contributions to the science of
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
. His proposition that all species of life have descended from
common ancestors Common descent is a concept in evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolution, evolutionary processes (natural selection, common descent, speciation) that produced the Biodiversity, diversity ...
is now widely accepted and considered a fundamental concept in science. In a joint publication with
Alfred Russel Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 18237 November 1913) was a British natural history, naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, biologist and illustrator. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution throug ...
, he introduced his scientific theory that this
branching pattern
branching pattern
of
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
resulted from a process that he called
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
, in which the
struggle for existence The concept of the struggle for existence concerns the competition or battle for resources needed to live. It can refer to human society, or to organisms in nature. The concept is ancient, and the term ''struggle for existence'' was in use by the e ...

struggle for existence
has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in
selective breeding Selective breeding (also called artificial selection) is the process by which humans use animal breeding Animal breeding is a branch of animal science Animal science (also bioscience) is described as "studying the biology Biology i ...
. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in
human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of humanity Humanity most commonly refers to: * Human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, ...
, and he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey. Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book ''
On the Origin of Species ''On the Origin of Species'' (or, more completely, ''On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life''),The book's full original title was ''On the Origin of Species by Me ...
''. By the 1870s, the scientific community and a majority of the educated public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations which gave only a minor role to natural selection, and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the
life sciences This list of life sciences comprises the branches of science The branches of science, also referred to as sciences, "scientific fields", or "scientific disciplines," are commonly divided into three major groups: *Formal sciences: the stu ...
, explaining the
diversity of life Biodiversity is the biological variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the genetic, species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic ...
. Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the
University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh ( sco, University o Edinburgh, gd, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann; abbreviated as ''Edin.'' in post-nominals Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply ...
; instead, he helped to investigate
marine invertebrates Marine invertebrates are the invertebrates that live in marine habitats. Invertebrate is a blanket term that includes all animals apart from the vertebrate members of the chordate phylum. Invertebrates lack a vertebral column, and some have evolved ...
. Studies at the
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
(
Christ's CollegeChrist's College is a name shared by several educational establishments. Among them are: * Christ's College, Aberdeen, in Scotland * Christ's College, Cambridge, one of the constituent Colleges of the University of Cambridge, England * Christ's Coll ...
) encouraged his passion for
natural science Natural science is a branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or ph ...

natural science
. His five-year voyage on established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported
Charles Lyell Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a Scottish geologist who demonstrated the power of known natural causes in explaining the earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astro ...

Charles Lyell
's conception of gradual geological change, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author. Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin began detailed investigations, and in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority. He was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay that described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories. Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871 he examined
human evolution Human evolution is the evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual ...

human evolution
and
sexual selection Sexual selection is a mode of natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrat ...
in ''
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex ''The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex'' is a book by English natural history, naturalist Charles Darwin, first published in 1871, which applies evolutionary theory to human evolution, and details his theory of sexual selection, a ...
'', followed by ''
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals ''The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals'' is Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism ...
'' (1872). His research on plants was published in a series of books, and in his final book, ''The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Actions of Worms'' (1881), he examined
earthworm An earthworm is a terrestrial invertebrate that belongs to the phylum Annelida. They exhibit a tube-within-a-tube body plan A body plan, ''Bauplan'' (German plural ''Baupläne''), or ground plan is a set of morphological features common to man ...

earthworm
s and their effect on soil.


Biography


Early life and education

Charles Robert Darwin was born in
Shrewsbury Shrewsbury ( , ) is a market town and the county town of Shropshire, England. The town is situated on the River Severn, north-west of London, and the 2011 census recorded a population of 71,715. The town centre has a largely unspoilt mediev ...
, Shropshire, on 12 February 1809, at his family's home, . He was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier
Robert Darwin Robert Waring Darwin (30 May 1766 – 13 November 1848) was an English medical doctor A physician (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set o ...

Robert Darwin
and
Susannah Darwin Susannah Darwin (née Wedgwood, 1765–1817) was the wife of Robert Darwin, a wealthy doctor, and mother of Charles Darwin, and part of the Wedgwood pottery family. She was the daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, Josiah and Sarah Wedgwood and grew up at ...
(''née'' Wedgwood). His grandfathers
Erasmus Darwin Erasmus Robert Darwin (12 December 173118 April 1802) was an English physician. One of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment, he was also a natural philosophy, natural philosopher, physiology, physiologist, Society for Effecting the ...
and
Josiah Wedgwood Josiah Wedgwood (12 July 1730 – 3 January 1795) was an English potter, entrepreneur, and abolitionist. He founded the Wedgwood company. He developed improved pottery bodies by a long process of systematic experimentation, and was the lead ...

Josiah Wedgwood
were both prominent
abolitionists Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, was the movement to end slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), w ...
. Erasmus Darwin had praised general concepts of evolution and
common descent Common descent is a concept in evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chem ...
in his '' Zoonomia'' (1794), a poetic fantasy of gradual creation including undeveloped ideas anticipating concepts his grandson expanded. Both families were largely
Unitarian Unitarian or Unitarianism may refer to: Christian and Christian-derived theologies A Unitarian is a follower of, or a member of an organisation that follows, any of several theologies referred to as Unitarianism: * Unitarianism (1565–present), ...
, though the Wedgwoods were adopting
Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia * ...
. Robert Darwin, himself quietly a freethinker, had baby Charles
baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian rite of initiation, admission and Adoption (theology), adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. It may be pe ...

baptised
in November 1809 in the Anglican , but Charles and his siblings attended the Unitarian chapel with their mother. The eight-year-old Charles already had a taste for natural history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. That July, his mother died. From September 1818, he joined his older brother
Erasmus Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (; English: Erasmus of Rotterdam;''Erasmus'' was his baptismal name, given after St. Erasmus of Formiae. ''Desiderius'' was a self-adopted additional name, which he used from 1496. The ''Roterodamus'' was a schol ...
attending the nearby Anglican
Shrewsbury School Shrewsbury School is a public school (English independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvani ...
as a
boarderA boarder may be a person who: *snowboards *skateboards *bodyboards *surfing, surfs *stays at a boarding house *attends a boarding school *takes part in a Boarding (attack), boarding attack The Boarder may also refer to: *The Boarder (1953 film), ...
.
Darwin spent the summer of 1825 as an apprentice doctor, helping his father treat the poor of Shropshire, before going to the
University of Edinburgh Medical School The University of Edinburgh Medical School (also known as Edinburgh Medical School) is the medical school of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, the head of which is Moira Whyte ...
(at the time the best medical school in the UK) with his brother Erasmus in October 1825. Darwin found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so he neglected his studies. He learned
taxidermy Taxidermy is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and inte ...

taxidermy
in around 40 daily hour-long sessions from
John Edmonstone John Edmonstone was an enslaved black man probably born in Demerara Demerara ( nl, Demerary) is a historical region in the Guianas on the north coast of South America which is now part of the country of Guyana. It was a Dutch colonization of th ...
, a freed black slave who had accompanied
Charles Waterton Charles Waterton (3 June 1782 – 27 May 1865) was an English naturalist, plantation overseer and explorer best known for his pioneering work regarding conservation. Family and religion Waterton was of a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually r ...

Charles Waterton
in the South American
rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

rainforest
.
In Darwin's second year at the university, he joined the
Plinian Society The Plinian Society was a club at the University of Edinburgh , latin_name = Universitas Academica Edinburgensis , image_name = University of Edinburgh ceremonial roundel.svg , image_size = 150px , established = , type = Public university/ ...
, a student group featuring lively debates in which radical democratic students with
materialistic Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultim ...
views challenged orthodox religious concepts of science. He assisted
Robert Edmond Grant Robert Edmond Grant Doctor of Medicine, MD Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, FRCPEd Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS FRSE Zoological Society of London, FZS Geological Society of London, FGS (11 November 1793 – 23 August 1874) was a Brit ...

Robert Edmond Grant
's investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of
marine invertebrates Marine invertebrates are the invertebrates that live in marine habitats. Invertebrate is a blanket term that includes all animals apart from the vertebrate members of the chordate phylum. Invertebrates lack a vertebral column, and some have evolved ...
in the
Firth of Forth The Firth of Forth ( gd, Linne Foirthe) is the estuary (firth) of several Scotland, Scottish rivers including the River Forth. It meets the North Sea with Fife on the north coast and Lothian on the south. Name ''Firth'' is a cognate of ''fjord ...

Firth of Forth
, and on 27 March 1827 presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in
oyster Oyster is the common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is someti ...

oyster
shells were the eggs of a skate
leech Leeches are segmented parasitic Parasitism is a Symbiosis, symbiotic biological interactions, relationship between species, where one organism, the parasite, lives on or inside another organism, the Host (biology), host, causing it so ...

leech
. One day, Grant praised
Lamarck Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, chevalier de Lamarck (1 August 1744 – 18 December 1829), often known simply as Lamarck (; ), was a French naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fu ...

Lamarck
's . Darwin was astonished by Grant's audacity, but had recently read similar ideas in his grandfather Erasmus' journals. Darwin was rather bored by
Robert Jameson image:Robert Jameson.jpg, Robert Jameson Professor Robert Jameson Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS FRSE (11 July 1774 – 19 April 1854) was a Scottish natural history, naturalist and mineralogist. As Regius Professor of Natural History at t ...

Robert Jameson
's natural-history course, which covered geology—including the debate between
Neptunism Neptunism is a superseded scientific theory of geology Geology (from the γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is a branch of concerned with both the liquid and , the of which it is composed, and ...
and
Plutonism Plutonism is the geologic theory that the igneous rocks forming the Earth originated from intrusive Magma, magmatic activity, with a continuing gradual process of weathering and erosion wearing away rocks, which were then deposited on the sea bed ...
. He learned the
classification Classification is a process related to categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience Experience refers to conscious , an English Paracels ...
of plants, and assisted with work on the collections of the
University Museum:''For museums named "university museum" see, University Museum (disambiguation)'' A university museum is a repository of collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an accounts receivable department * C ...

University Museum
, one of the largest museums in Europe at the time. Darwin's neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to
Christ's College, Cambridge Christ's College is a constituent college A collegiate university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education ...
, to study for a
Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Arts (BA or AB; from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to ...
degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican country
parson A parson is an ordained Christians, Christian person responsible for a small area, typically a parish. The term was formerly often used for some Anglican clergy and, more rarely, for ordained ministers in some other churches. It is no longer a f ...

parson
. As Darwin was unqualified for the ''
Tripos TRIPOS (''TRIvial Portable Operating System'') is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic ...
'', he joined the ''ordinary'' degree course in January 1828. He preferred and
shooting Shooting is the act or process of discharging a projectile from a ranged weapon (such as a gun, bow and arrow, bow, crossbow, slingshot, or blowgun, blowpipe). Even the acts of launching flamethrower, flame, artillery, dart (missile), darts, ha ...
to studying. During the first few months of Darwin's enrollment, his second cousin
William Darwin Fox The Reverend William Darwin Fox (23 April 1805 – 8 April 1880) was an English clergyman, naturalist, and a second cousin of Charles Darwin. Early life Fox was born in 1805 and initially raised at Thurleston Grange near Elvaston, Derbyshire, ...

William Darwin Fox
was also studying at Christ's College. Fox impressed him with his butterfly collection, introducing Darwin to
entomology Entomology () is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. Th ...
and influencing him to pursue
beetle Beetles are a group of insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known a ...

beetle
collecting. He did this zealously, and had some of his finds published in
James Francis Stephens James Francis Stephens (16 September 1792 – 22 December 1852) was an England, English entomologist and naturalist. He is known for his 12 volume ''Illustrations of British Entomology'' (1846) and the ''Manual of British Beetles'' (1839). Ea ...
' ''Illustrations of British entomology'' (1829–32). Also through Fox, Darwin became a close friend and follower of botany professor
John Stevens Henslow John Stevens Henslow (6 February 1796 – 16 May 1861) was a British people, British priest, botanist and geologist. He is best remembered as friend and mentor to his pupil Charles Darwin. Early life Henslow was born at Rochester, Kent, the s ...

John Stevens Henslow
. He met other leading
parson-naturalist A parson-naturalist was a cleric (a "parson A parson is an ordained Christian person responsible for a small area, typically a parish. The term was formerly often used for some Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Chri ...
s who saw scientific work as religious
natural theology Natural theology, once also termed physico-theology, is a type of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
, becoming known to these dons as "the man who walks with Henslow". When his own exams drew near, Darwin applied himself to his studies and was delighted by the language and logic of
William Paley William Paley (July 174325 May 1805) was an English clergyman, Christian apologetics, Christian apologist, philosopher, and Utilitarianism, utilitarian. He is best known for his natural theology exposition of the teleological argument for the ex ...
's ''Evidences of Christianity'' (1795).
In his final examination in January 1831 Darwin did well, coming tenth out of 178 candidates for the ''ordinary'' degree. Darwin had to stay at Cambridge until June 1831. He studied Paley's ''
Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity ''Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity'' is an 1802 work of Christian apologetics Christian apologetics ( el, ἀπολογία, "verbal defence, speech in defence") is a branch of Christian theology Chris ...
'' (first published in 1802), which made an argument for divine design in nature, explaining
adaptation In , adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits s to their environment, enhancing their . Secondly, it is a state reached by the population during that process. Thirdly, it is a or adapti ...

adaptation
as God acting through laws of nature. He read
John Herschel Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet (; 7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871) was an English polymath active as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, experimental photographer who invented the blueprint, and did botanical wor ...
's new book, ''Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy'' (1831), which described the highest aim of
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from Latin ''philosophia naturalis'') was the philosophy, philosophical study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science. From the ancient world, a ...
as understanding such laws through
inductive reasoning Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning Reason is the capacity of Consciousness, consciously making sense of things, applying logic, and adapting or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. It ...
based on observation, and
Alexander von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (14 September 17696 May 1859) was a , , , , and proponent of philosophy and . He was the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher, and (1767–1835). Humboldt's quantitative work ...

Alexander von Humboldt
's ''Personal Narrative'' of scientific travels in 1799–1804. Inspired with "a burning zeal" to contribute, Darwin planned to visit
Tenerife Tenerife (; ; formerly spelled ''Teneriffe'') is the largest and most populous island of the Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ) ...

Tenerife
with some classmates after graduation to study natural history in the
tropics The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% ...

tropics
. In preparation, he joined
Adam Sedgwick Adam Sedgwick (; 22 March 1785 – 27 January 1873) was a British geologist A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid, liquid, and gaseous matter that constitutes Earth and other terrestrial planets, as well as the processes that shap ...

Adam Sedgwick
's
geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ...

geology
course, then on 4 August travelled with him to spend a fortnight mapping
strata In geology and related fields, a stratum (plural: strata) is a layer of sedimentary rock or soil, or igneous rock that was formed at the Earth's surface, with internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers. The "str ...
in
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
.


Survey voyage on HMS ''Beagle''

After leaving Sedgwick in Wales, Darwin spent a few days with student friends at
Barmouth Barmouth ( cy, Abermaw (formal); ''Y Bermo'' (colloquial)) is a seaside town and community (Wales), community in the county of Gwynedd, northwestern Wales, lying on the estuary of the Afon Mawddach and Cardigan Bay. Located in the Historic count ...

Barmouth
, then returned home on 29 August to find a letter from Henslow proposing him as a suitable (if unfinished)
naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecul ...

naturalist
for a self-funded
supernumerary Supernumerary means "exceeding the usual number". Supernumerary may also refer to: * Supernumerary actor, a performer in a film, television show, or stage production who has no role or purpose other than to appear in the background, more commonly ...
place on with captain
Robert FitzRoy Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy (5 July 1805 – 30 April 1865) was an English officer of the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from th ...

Robert FitzRoy
, emphasising that this was a position for a
gentleman A gentleman (Old French: ''gentilz hom'', gentle + man) is any man of good and courteous conduct. Originally, ''gentleman'' was the lowest rank of the landed gentry of England, ranking below an esquire and above a yeoman; by definition, the ran ...

gentleman
rather than "a mere collector". The ship was to leave in four weeks on an expedition to chart the coastline of South America.
Robert Darwin Robert Waring Darwin (30 May 1766 – 13 November 1848) was an English medical doctor A physician (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set o ...

Robert Darwin
objected to his son's planned two-year voyage, regarding it as a waste of time, but was persuaded by his brother-in-law,
Josiah Wedgwood II Josiah Wedgwood II (3 April 1769 – 12 July 1843), the son of the English potter Josiah Wedgwood, continued his father's firm and was a Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) for Stoke-upon-Trent (UK Parliament consti ...

Josiah Wedgwood II
, to agree to (and fund) his son's participation. Darwin took care to remain in a private capacity to retain control over his collection, intending it for a major scientific institution. After delays, the voyage began on 27 December 1831; it lasted almost five years. As FitzRoy had intended, Darwin spent most of that time on land investigating geology and making natural history collections, while HMS ''Beagle'' surveyed and charted coasts. He kept careful notes of his observations and theoretical speculations, and at intervals during the voyage his specimens were sent to Cambridge together with letters including a copy of his journal for his family. He had some expertise in geology, beetle collecting and dissecting
marine invertebrates Marine invertebrates are the invertebrates that live in marine habitats. Invertebrate is a blanket term that includes all animals apart from the vertebrate members of the chordate phylum. Invertebrates lack a vertebral column, and some have evolved ...
, but in all other areas was a novice and ably collected specimens for expert appraisal. Despite suffering badly from seasickness, Darwin wrote copious notes while on board the ship. Most of his zoology notes are about marine invertebrates, starting with
plankton Plankton are the diverse collection of organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology ...

plankton
collected in a calm spell. On their first stop ashore at St Jago in
Cape Verde , national_anthem = () , official_languages = Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** P ...

Cape Verde
, Darwin found that a white band high in the
volcanic rock Volcanic rock (often shortened to volcanics in scientific contexts) is a rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by t ...

volcanic rock
cliffs included seashells. FitzRoy had given him the first volume of
Charles Lyell Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a Scottish geologist who demonstrated the power of known natural causes in explaining the earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astro ...

Charles Lyell
's ''
Principles of Geology A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a Legal rule, rule that has to be or usually is to be followed. It can be desirably followed, or it can be an inevitable consequence of something, such ...
'', which set out
uniformitarian at Jedburgh Jedburgh (; gd, Deadard; sco, Jeddart or ) is a town and former royal burgh in the Scottish Borders and the traditional county town of the historic county of Roxburghshire Roxburghshire or the County of Roxburgh ( gd, Sior ...
concepts of land slowly rising or falling over immense periods, and Darwin saw things Lyell's way, theorising and thinking of writing a book on geology. When they reached
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
, Darwin was delighted by the
tropical forest The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% i ...
, but detested the sight of
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that give ...
, and disputed this issue with Fitzroy. The survey continued to the south in
Patagonia Patagonia () refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convent ...

Patagonia
. They stopped at
Bahía Blanca Bahía Blanca (; English: White Bay) is a city in the southwest of the province of Buenos Aires Buenos Aires ( or ; ), officially Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located ...

Bahía Blanca
, and in cliffs near
Punta Alta Punta Alta is a city in Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the ...
Darwin made a major find of fossil bones of huge extinct
mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
s beside modern seashells, indicating recent
extinction Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biol ...

extinction
with no signs of change in climate or catastrophe. He identified the little-known ''
Megatherium ''Megatherium'' ( from the Greek '' mega'' έγας meaning "great", and ''therion (disambiguation), therion'' ηρίον "beast") is an extinct genus of ground sloths endemic to South America that lived from the Early Pliocene through ...

Megatherium
'' by a tooth and its association with bony armour, which had at first seemed to him to be like a giant version of the armour on local
armadillo Armadillos (meaning "little armored ones" in Spanish) are New World placental mammals in the order (biology), order Cingulata. The Chlamyphoridae and Dasypodidae are the only surviving family (biology), families in the order, which is part of ...

armadillo
s. The finds were shipped to England, and scientists found the fossils of great interest. On rides with
gaucho A gaucho () or gaúcho () is a skilled horseman, reputed to be brave and unruly. The figure of the gaucho is a folk symbol of Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located ...

gaucho
s into the interior to explore geology and collect more fossils, Darwin gained social, political and
anthropological Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, l ...
insights into both native and colonial people at a time of revolution, and learnt that two types of rhea had separate but overlapping territories. Further south, he saw stepped plains of shingle and seashells as
raised beach A raised beach, coastal terrace,Pinter, N (2010): 'Coastal Terraces, Sealevel, and Active Tectonics' (educational exercise), from 2/04/2011/ref> or perched coastline is a relatively flat, horizontal or gently inclined surface of marine origin,P ...
es showing a series of elevations. He read Lyell's second volume and accepted its view of "centres of creation" of species, but his discoveries and theorising challenged Lyell's ideas of smooth continuity and of extinction of species. Three
Fuegians Fuegians are the indigenous inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of South America. In English, the term originally referred to the Yaghan people of Tierra del Fuego. In Spanish, the term ''fueguino'' can refer to any person from th ...
on board had been seized during the first ''Beagle'' voyage, then during a year in England were educated as missionaries. Darwin found them friendly and civilised, yet at
Tierra del Fuego #REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego #REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego#REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego Tierra del Fuego (, ; Spanish for "Land of Fire", formerly also Fireland in English) is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or i ...

Tierra del Fuego
he met "miserable, degraded savages", as different as wild from domesticated animals. He remained convinced that, despite this diversity, all humans were interrelated with a shared origin and potential for improvement towards civilisation. Unlike his scientist friends, he now thought there was no unbridgeable gap between humans and animals. A year on, the mission had been abandoned. The Fuegian they had named
Jemmy Button Orundellico, known as "Jeremy Button" or "Jemmy Button" (c. 1815–1864), was a native Fuegians, Fuegian of the Yaghan people, Yaghan (or Yámana) people from islands around Tierra del Fuego, in modern Chile and Argentina. He was taken to England by ...

Jemmy Button
lived like the other natives, had a wife, and had no wish to return to England. Darwin experienced an earthquake in Chile in 1835 and saw signs that the land had just been raised, including
mussel Mussel () is the common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is som ...

mussel
-beds stranded above high tide. High in the
Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the List of mountain ranges#Mountain ranges by length, longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of Sou ...

Andes
he saw seashells, and several fossil trees that had grown on a sand beach. He theorised that as the land rose,
oceanic islands upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lower_Saranac_Lake.jpg.html" ;"title="Great Britain">Ireland (l ...

oceanic islands
sank, and
coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient c ...

coral reef
s round them grew to form
atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef, including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands or cays on the rim. Two different, well-cited models, the subsiden ...

atoll
s. On the geologically new
Galápagos Islands The Galápagos Islands (official name: , other Spanish language, Spanish name: , , ), part of the Republic of Ecuador, are an archipelago of High island, volcanic islands. They are distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean ...
, Darwin looked for evidence attaching wildlife to an older "centre of creation", and found
mockingbird Mockingbirds are a group of New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxf ...

mockingbird
s allied to those in Chile but differing from island to island. He heard that slight variations in the shape of
tortoise Tortoises () are reptiles Reptiles, as most commonly defined, are the animals in the class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a ...

tortoise
shells showed which island they came from, but failed to collect them, even after eating tortoises taken on board as food. In Australia, the
marsupial Marsupials are any members of the mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ' ...
rat-kangaroo Potoroidae is a family of marsupial Marsupials are any members of the mammalian Class (biology), infraclass Marsupialia. All extant marsupials are endemic to Australasia, Wallacea and the Americas. A distinctive characteristic common to most ...
and the
platypus The platypus (''Ornithorhynchus anatinus''), sometimes referred to as the duck-billed platypus, is a List of semiaquatic tetrapods, semiaquatic, egg-laying mammal Endemic (ecology), endemic to Eastern states of Australia, eastern Australia, ...

platypus
seemed so unusual that Darwin thought it was almost as though two distinct Creators had been at work. He found the
Aborigines Aborigine, aborigine or aboriginal may refer to: * Indigenous peoples, ethnic groups who are the original or earliest known inhabitants of an area **List of indigenous peoples, including: ***Aboriginal Australians ****Australian Aboriginal identity ...
"good-humoured & pleasant", and noted their depletion by European settlement. FitzRoy investigated how the atolls of the
Cocos (Keeling) Islands ) , anthem = , song_type = , song = , image_map = Australia on the globe (Cocos (Keeling) Islands special) (Southeast Asia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands , map_caption = Location of the Cocos (Keeli ...
had formed, and the survey supported Darwin's theorising. FitzRoy began writing the official ''Narrative'' of the ''Beagle'' voyages, and after reading Darwin's diary he proposed incorporating it into the account. Darwin's ''
Journal A journal, from the Old French ''journal'' (meaning "daily"), may refer to: *Bullet journal, a method of personal organizations *Diary, a record of what happened over the course of a day or other period *Daybook, also known as a general journal, a ...
'' was eventually rewritten as a separate third volume, on geology and natural history. In
Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad ; Xhosa language, Xhosa: ''iKapa;'') is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg, and also the legislative Capital city, capital of South Africa. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is ...

Cape Town
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
, Darwin and FitzRoy met
John Herschel Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet (; 7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871) was an English polymath active as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, experimental photographer who invented the blueprint, and did botanical wor ...
, who had recently written to Lyell praising his
uniformitarianism at Jedburgh.Above: John Clerk of Eldin's 1787 illustration.Below: 2003 photograph. Uniformitarianism, also known as the Doctrine of Uniformity or the Uniformitarian Principle, is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operat ...
as opening bold speculation on "that mystery of mysteries, the replacement of extinct species by others" as "a natural in contradistinction to a miraculous process". When organising his notes as the ship sailed home, Darwin wrote that, if his growing suspicions about the mockingbirds, the tortoises and the
Falkland Islands fox The Falkland Islands wolf (''Dusicyon australis''), also known as the warrah ( or ) and occasionally as the Falkland Islands dog, Falkland Islands fox, warrah fox, or Antarctic wolf, was the only native land mammal of the Falkland Islands. This ...
were correct, "such facts undermine the stability of Species", then cautiously added "would" before "undermine".
He later wrote that such facts "seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species".


Inception of Darwin's evolutionary theory

By the time Darwin returned to England, he was already a celebrity in scientific circles as in December 1835 Henslow had fostered his former pupil's reputation by publishing a pamphlet of Darwin's geological letters for select naturalists. On 2 October 1836 the ship anchored at Falmouth, Cornwall, Falmouth, Cornwall. Darwin promptly made the long coach journey to Shrewsbury to visit his home and see relatives. He then hurried to Cambridge to see Henslow, who advised him on finding available naturalists to catalogue Darwin's animal collections and to take on the botanical specimens. Darwin's father organised investments, enabling his son to be a self-funded gentleman scientist, and an excited Darwin went round the London institutions being fêted and seeking experts to describe the collections. British zoologists at the time had a huge backlog of work, due to natural history collecting being encouraged throughout the British Empire, and there was a danger of specimens just being left in storage. Charles Lyell eagerly met Darwin for the first time on 29 October and soon introduced him to the up-and-coming anatomist Richard Owen, who had the facilities of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons to work on the fossil bones collected by Darwin. Owen's surprising results included other gigantic extinct ground sloths as well as the ''
Megatherium ''Megatherium'' ( from the Greek '' mega'' έγας meaning "great", and ''therion (disambiguation), therion'' ηρίον "beast") is an extinct genus of ground sloths endemic to South America that lived from the Early Pliocene through ...

Megatherium
'', a near complete skeleton of the unknown ''Scelidotherium'' and a hippopotamus-sized rodent-like skull named ''Toxodon'' resembling a giant capybara. The armour fragments were actually from ''Glyptodon'', a huge armadillo-like creature, as Darwin had initially thought. These extinct creatures were related to living species in South America. In mid-December, Darwin took lodgings in Cambridge to arrange expert classification of his collections, and prepare his own research for publication. Questions of how to combine his diary into the ''Narrative'' were resolved at the end of the month when FitzRoy accepted William Broderip, Broderip's advice to make it a separate volume, and Darwin began work on his The Voyage of the Beagle, ''Journal and Remarks''. Darwin's first paper showed that the South American landmass was slowly rising, and with Lyell's enthusiastic backing he read it to the Geological Society of London on 4 January 1837. On the same day, he presented his mammal and bird specimens to the Zoological Society of London, Zoological Society. The ornithologist John Gould soon announced that the Galapagos birds that Darwin had thought a mixture of Common blackbird, blackbirds, "Grosbeak, gros-beaks" and finches, were, in fact, twelve Darwin's finches, separate species of finches. On 17 February, Darwin was elected to the Council of the Geological Society, and Lyell's presidential address presented Owen's findings on Darwin's fossils, stressing geographical continuity of species as supporting his uniformitarian ideas. Early in March, Darwin moved to London to be near this work, joining Lyell's social circle of scientists and experts such as Charles Babbage, who described God as a programmer of laws. Darwin stayed with his freethought, freethinking brother Erasmus, part of this British Whig Party, Whig circle and a close friend of the writer Harriet Martineau, who promoted the Malthusianism that underpinned the controversial Whig Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, Poor Law reforms to stop welfare from causing overpopulation and more poverty. As a
Unitarian Unitarian or Unitarianism may refer to: Christian and Christian-derived theologies A Unitarian is a follower of, or a member of an organisation that follows, any of several theologies referred to as Unitarianism: * Unitarianism (1565–present), ...
, she welcomed the radicalism (historical), radical implications of transmutation of species, promoted by Grant and younger surgeons influenced by Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Geoffroy. Transmutation was anathema to Anglicans defending social order, but reputable scientists openly discussed the subject and there was wide interest in
John Herschel Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet (; 7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871) was an English polymath active as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, experimental photographer who invented the blueprint, and did botanical wor ...
's letter praising Lyell's approach as a way to find a Scientific law, natural cause of the origin of new species. Gould met Darwin and told him that the Galápagos
mockingbird Mockingbirds are a group of New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxf ...

mockingbird
s from different islands were separate species, not just varieties, and what Darwin had thought was a "wren" was also Warbler-finch, in the finch group. Darwin had not labelled the finches by island, but from the notes of others on the ship, including FitzRoy, he allocated species to islands. The two rhea (bird), rheas were also distinct species, and on 14 March Darwin announced how their distribution changed going southwards. By mid-March 1837, barely six months after his return to England, Darwin was speculating in his ''Red Notebook'' on the possibility that "one species does change into another" to explain the geographical distribution of living species such as the rheas, and extinct ones such as the strange extinct mammal ''Macrauchenia'', which resembled a giant guanaco, a llama relative. Around mid-July, he recorded in his "B" notebook his thoughts on lifespan and variation across generations—explaining the variations he had observed in Galápagos tortoises, mockingbirds, and rheas. He sketched branching descent, and then a genealogical branching of a single tree of life (science), evolutionary tree, in which "It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another", thereby discarding Lamarck's idea of independent lineage (evolution), lineages progressing to higher forms.


Overwork, illness, and marriage

While developing this intensive study of transmutation, Darwin became mired in more work. Still rewriting his ''Journal'', he took on editing and publishing the expert reports on his collections, and with Henslow's help obtained a Treasury grant of £1,000 to sponsor this multi-volume ''Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle'', a sum equivalent to about £115,000 in 2021. He stretched the funding to include his planned books on geology, and agreed to unrealistic dates with the publisher. As the Victorian era began, Darwin pressed on with writing his ''Journal'', and in August 1837 began correcting Galley proof, printer's proofs. As Darwin worked under pressure, his health suffered. On 20 September he had "an uncomfortable palpitation of the heart", so his doctors urged him to "knock off all work" and live in the country for a few weeks. After visiting Shrewsbury he joined his Wedgwood relatives at Maer Hall, Staffordshire, but found them too eager for tales of his travels to give him much rest. His charming, intelligent, and cultured cousin Emma Darwin, Emma Wedgwood, nine months older than Darwin, was nursing his invalid aunt. His uncle Josiah Wedgwood II, Josiah pointed out an area of ground where cinders had disappeared under loam and suggested that this might have been the work of
earthworm An earthworm is a terrestrial invertebrate that belongs to the phylum Annelida. They exhibit a tube-within-a-tube body plan A body plan, ''Bauplan'' (German plural ''Baupläne''), or ground plan is a set of morphological features common to man ...

earthworm
s, inspiring "a new & important theory" on their role in pedogenesis, soil formation, which Darwin presented at the Geological Society on 1 November 1837. His ''Journal'' was printed and ready for publication by the end of February 1838, as was the first volume of the ''Narrative'', but FitzRoy was still working hard to finish his own volume. William Whewell pushed Darwin to take on the duties of Secretary of the Geological Society. After initially declining the work, he accepted the post in March 1838. Despite the grind of writing and editing the ''Beagle'' reports, Darwin made remarkable progress on transmutation, taking every opportunity to question expert naturalists and, unconventionally, people with practical experience in
selective breeding Selective breeding (also called artificial selection) is the process by which humans use animal breeding Animal breeding is a branch of animal science Animal science (also bioscience) is described as "studying the biology Biology i ...
such as farmers and pigeon keeping, pigeon fanciers. Over time, his research drew on information from his relatives and children, the family butler, neighbours, colonists and former shipmates. He included mankind in his speculations from the outset, and on seeing an orangutan in the zoo on 28 March 1838 noted its childlike behaviour. The strain took a toll, and by June he was being laid up for days on end with stomach problems, headaches and heart symptoms. For the rest of his life, he was repeatedly incapacitated with episodes of stomach pains, vomiting, severe boils, palpitations, trembling and other symptoms, particularly during times of stress, such as attending meetings or making social visits. The cause of Charles Darwin's illness, Darwin's illness remained unknown, and attempts at treatment had only ephemeral success. On 23 June, he took a break and went "geologising" in Scotland. He visited Glen Roy in glorious weather to see the parallel "roads" cut into the hillsides at three heights. He later published his view that these were marine
raised beach A raised beach, coastal terrace,Pinter, N (2010): 'Coastal Terraces, Sealevel, and Active Tectonics' (educational exercise), from 2/04/2011/ref> or perched coastline is a relatively flat, horizontal or gently inclined surface of marine origin,P ...
es, but then had to accept that they were shorelines of a proglacial lake. Fully recuperated, he returned to Shrewsbury in July. Used to jotting down daily notes on animal breeding, he scrawled rambling thoughts about marriage, career and prospects on two scraps of paper, one with columns headed ''"Marry"'' and ''"Not Marry"''. Advantages under "Marry" included "constant companion and a friend in old age ... better than a dog anyhow", against points such as "less money for books" and "terrible loss of time". Having decided in favour of marriage, he discussed it with his father, then went to visit his cousin Emma on 29 July. He did not get around to proposing, but against his father's advice he mentioned his ideas on transmutation.


Malthus and natural selection

Continuing his research in London, Darwin's wide reading now included the sixth edition of Malthus's ''An Essay on the Principle of Population'', and on 28 September 1838 he noted its assertion that human "population, when unchecked, goes on doubling itself every twenty five years, or increases in a geometrical ratio", a geometric progression so that population soon exceeds food supply in what is known as a Malthusian catastrophe. Darwin was well prepared to compare this to Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, Augustin de Candolle's "warring of the species" of plants and the struggle for existence among wildlife, explaining how numbers of a species kept roughly stable. As species always breed beyond available resources, favourable variations would make organisms better at surviving and passing the variations on to their offspring, while unfavourable variations would be lost. He wrote that the "final cause of all this wedging, must be to sort out proper structure, & adapt it to changes", so that "One may say there is a force like a hundred thousand wedges trying force into every kind of adapted structure into the gaps of in the economy of nature, or rather forming gaps by thrusting out weaker ones." This would result in the formation of new species. As he later wrote in his ''The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, Autobiography'': By mid-December, Darwin saw a similarity between farmers picking the best stock in
selective breeding Selective breeding (also called artificial selection) is the process by which humans use animal breeding Animal breeding is a branch of animal science Animal science (also bioscience) is described as "studying the biology Biology i ...
, and a Malthusian Nature selecting from chance variants so that "every part of newly acquired structure is fully practical and perfected", thinking this comparison "a beautiful part of my theory". He later called his theory
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
, an analogy with what he termed the "artificial selection" of selective breeding. On 11 November, he returned to Maer Hall, Maer and proposed to Emma, once more telling her his ideas. She accepted, then in exchanges of loving letters she showed how she valued his openness in sharing their differences, also expressing her strong Unitarian beliefs and concerns that his honest doubts might separate them in the afterlife. While he was house-hunting in London, bouts of illness continued and Emma wrote urging him to get some rest, almost prophetically remarking "So don't be ill any more my dear Charley till I can be with you to nurse you." He found what they called "Macaw Cottage" (because of its gaudy interiors) in Gower Street (London), Gower Street, then moved his "museum" in over Christmas. On 24 January 1839, Darwin was List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1839, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS). On 29 January, Darwin and Emma Wedgwood were married at Maer in an Anglican ceremony arranged to suit the Unitarians, then immediately caught the train to London and their new home.


Geology books, barnacles, evolutionary research

Darwin now had the framework of his theory of natural selection "by which to work", as his "prime hobby". His research included extensive experimental selective breeding of plants and animals, finding evidence that species were not fixed and investigating many detailed ideas to refine and substantiate his theory. For fifteen years this work was in the background to his main occupation of writing on geology and publishing expert reports on the ''Beagle'' collections, and in particular, the barnacles. FitzRoy's long delayed ''Narrative'' was published in May 1839. Darwin's ''The Voyage of the Beagle, Journal and Remarks'' got good reviews as the third volume, and on 15 August it was published on its own. Early in 1842, Darwin wrote about his ideas to
Charles Lyell Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a Scottish geologist who demonstrated the power of known natural causes in explaining the earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astro ...

Charles Lyell
, who noted that his ally "denies seeing a beginning to each crop of species". Darwin's book ''The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs'' on his theory of
atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef, including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands or cays on the rim. Two different, well-cited models, the subsiden ...

atoll
formation was published in May 1842 after more than three years of work, and he then wrote his first "pencil sketch" of his theory of natural selection. To escape the pressures of London, the family moved to rural Down House in September. On 11 January 1844, Darwin mentioned his theorising to the botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, writing with melodramatic humour "it is like confessing a murder". Hooker replied "There may in my opinion have been a series of productions on different spots, & also a gradual change of species. I shall be delighted to hear how you think that this change may have taken place, as no presently conceived opinions satisfy me on the subject." By July, Darwin had expanded his "sketch" into a 230-page "Essay", to be expanded with his research results if he died prematurely. In November, the anonymously published sensational best-seller ''Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation'' brought wide interest in transmutation. Darwin scorned its amateurish geology and zoology, but carefully reviewed his own arguments. Controversy erupted, and it continued to sell well despite contemptuous dismissal by scientists. Darwin completed his third geological book in 1846. He now renewed a fascination and expertise in
marine invertebrates Marine invertebrates are the invertebrates that live in marine habitats. Invertebrate is a blanket term that includes all animals apart from the vertebrate members of the chordate phylum. Invertebrates lack a vertebral column, and some have evolved ...
, dating back to his student days with Robert Edmond Grant, Grant, by dissecting and classifying the barnacles he had collected on the voyage, enjoying observing beautiful structures and thinking about comparisons with allied structures. In 1847, Hooker read the "Essay" and sent notes that provided Darwin with the calm critical feedback that he needed, but would not commit himself and questioned Darwin's opposition to continuing acts of creation myth, creation. In an attempt to improve his chronic ill health, Darwin went in 1849 to Dr. James Manby Gully, James Gully's Great Malvern, Malvern spa and was surprised to find some benefit from hydrotherapy. Then, in 1851, his treasured daughter Anne Darwin, Annie fell ill, reawakening his fears that his illness might be hereditary, and after a long series of crises she died. In eight years of work on barnacles (Cirripedia), Darwin's theory helped him to find "homology (biology), homologies" showing that slightly changed body parts served different functions to meet new conditions, and in some genus, genera he found minute males parasitism, parasitic on hermaphrodites, showing an Androdioecy, intermediate stage in evolution of Gonochorism, distinct sexes. In 1853, it earned him the Royal Society's Royal Medal, and it made his reputation as a
biologist A biologist is a professional who has specialized knowledge in the field of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Mol ...
. In 1854 he became a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, gaining postal access to its library. He began a major reassessment of his theory of species, and in November realised that divergence in the character of descendants could be explained by them becoming adapted to "diversified places in the economy of nature".


Publication of the theory of natural selection

By the start of 1856, Darwin was investigating whether eggs and seeds could survive travel across seawater to spread species across oceans. Hooker increasingly doubted the traditional view that species were fixed, but their young friend Thomas Henry Huxley was still firmly against the transmutation of species. Lyell was intrigued by Darwin's speculations without realising their extent. When he read a paper by
Alfred Russel Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 18237 November 1913) was a British natural history, naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, biologist and illustrator. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution throug ...
, "On the Law which has Regulated the Introduction of New Species", he saw similarities with Darwin's thoughts and urged him to publish to establish precedence.
Though Darwin saw no threat, on 14 May 1856 he began writing a short paper. Finding answers to difficult questions held him up repeatedly, and he expanded his plans to a "big book on species" titled ''Natural Selection (manuscript), Natural Selection'', which was to include his "note on Man". He continued his researches, Correspondence of Charles Darwin, obtaining information and specimens from naturalists worldwide including Wallace who was working in Borneo. In mid-1857 he added a section heading; "Theory applied to Races of Man", but did not add text on this topic. On 5 September 1857, Darwin sent the American botanist Asa Gray a detailed outline of his ideas, including an abstract of ''Natural Selection'', which omitted human evolution, human origins and
sexual selection Sexual selection is a mode of natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrat ...
. In December, Darwin received a letter from Wallace asking if the book would examine human origins. He responded that he would avoid that subject, "so surrounded with prejudices", while encouraging Wallace's theorising and adding that "I go much further than you." Darwin's book was only partly written when, on 18 June 1858, he received a paper from Wallace describing natural selection. Shocked that he had been "forestalled", Darwin sent it on that day to Lyell, as requested by Wallace, and although Wallace had not asked for publication, Darwin suggested he would send it to any journal that Wallace chose. His family was in crisis with children in the village dying of scarlet fever, and he put matters in the hands of his friends. After some discussion, with no reliable way of involving Wallace, Lyell and Hooker decided on a joint presentation at the Linnean Society of London, Linnean Society on 1 July of ''On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection''. On the evening of 28 June, Darwin's baby son died of scarlet fever after almost a week of severe illness, and he was too distraught to attend. There was little immediate attention to this announcement of the theory; the president of the Linnean Society remarked in May 1859 that the year had not been marked by any revolutionary discoveries. Only one review rankled enough for Darwin to recall it later; Professor Samuel Haughton of Dublin claimed that "all that was new in them was false, and what was true was old". Darwin struggled for thirteen months to produce an abstract of his "big book", suffering from ill health but getting constant encouragement from his scientific friends. Lyell arranged to have it published by John Murray (publishing house), John Murray. ''
On the Origin of Species ''On the Origin of Species'' (or, more completely, ''On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life''),The book's full original title was ''On the Origin of Species by Me ...
'' proved unexpectedly popular, with the entire stock of 1,250 copies oversubscribed when it went on sale to booksellers on 22 November 1859. In the book, Darwin set out "one long argument" of detailed observations, inferences and consideration of anticipated objections. In making the case for common descent, he included evidence of Homology (biology), homologies between humans and other mammals. Having outlined
sexual selection Sexual selection is a mode of natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrat ...
, he hinted that it could explain differences between Race (human categorization), human races.

He avoided explicit discussion of human origins, but implied the significance of his work with the sentence; "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history."

His theory is simply stated in the introduction: At the end of the book he concluded that: The last word was the only variant of "evolved" in the first five editions of the book. "Evolutionism" at that time was associated with other concepts, most commonly with Prenatal development (biology), embryological development, and Darwin first used the word
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
in ''The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, The Descent of Man'' in 1871, before adding it in 1872 to the 6th edition of ''The Origin of Species''.


Responses to publication

The book aroused international interest, with less controversy than had greeted the popular and less scientific ''Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation''. Though Darwin's illness kept him away from the public debates, he eagerly scrutinised the scientific response, commenting on press cuttings, reviews, articles, satires and caricatures, and Correspondence of Charles Darwin, corresponded on it with colleagues worldwide. The book did not explicitly discuss human origins, but included a number of hints about the animal ancestry of humans from which the inference could be made. The first review asked, "If a monkey has become a man–what may not a man become?" and said it should be left to theologians as it was too dangerous for ordinary readers. Amongst early favourable responses, Huxley's reviews swiped at Richard Owen, leader of the scientific establishment Huxley was trying to overthrow. In April, Owen's review attacked Darwin's friends and condescendingly dismissed his ideas, angering Darwin, but Owen and others began to promote ideas of supernaturally guided evolution. Patrick Matthew drew attention to his 1831 book which had a brief appendix suggesting a concept of natural selection leading to new species, but he had not developed the idea. The Church of England's response was mixed. Darwin's old Cambridge tutors Adam Sedgwick, Sedgwick and John Stevens Henslow, Henslow dismissed the ideas, but liberal Christianity, liberal clergymen interpreted natural selection as an instrument of God's design, with the cleric Charles Kingsley seeing it as "just as noble a conception of Deity". In 1860, the publication of ''Essays and Reviews'' by seven liberal Anglican theologians diverted clergy, clerical attention from Darwin, with its ideas including higher criticism attacked by church authorities as heresy. In it, Baden Powell (mathematician), Baden Powell argued that miracles broke God's laws, so belief in them was atheism, atheistic, and praised "Mr Darwin's masterly volume [supporting] the grand principle of the self-evolving powers of nature". Asa Gray discussed teleology with Darwin, who imported and distributed Gray's pamphlet on theistic evolution, ''Natural Selection is not inconsistent with
natural theology Natural theology, once also termed physico-theology, is a type of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
''. The most famous confrontation was at the public 1860 Oxford evolution debate during a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, where the Bishop of Oxford Samuel Wilberforce, though not opposed to transmutation of species, argued against Darwin's explanation and human descent from apes. Joseph Dalton Hooker, Joseph Hooker argued strongly for Darwin, and Thomas Huxley's legendary retort, that he would rather be descended from an ape than a man who misused his gifts, came to symbolise a triumph of science over religion. Even Darwin's close friends Gray, Hooker, Huxley and Lyell still expressed various reservations but gave strong support, as did many others, particularly younger naturalists. Gray and Lyell sought reconciliation with faith, while Huxley portrayed a polarisation between religion and science. He campaigned pugnaciously against the authority of the clergy in education, aiming to overturn the dominance of clergymen and aristocratic amateurs under Owen in favour of a new generation of professional scientists. Owen's claim that brain anatomy proved humans to be a separate order (biology), biological order from apes was shown to be false by Huxley in a long running dispute parodied by Kingsley as the "Great Hippocampus Question", and discredited Owen. Darwinism became a movement covering a wide range of evolutionary ideas. In 1863 Lyell's ''Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man'' popularised prehistory, though his caution on evolution disappointed Darwin. Weeks later Huxley's ''Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature'' showed that anatomically, humans are apes, then ''The Naturalist on the River Amazons'' by Henry Walter Bates provided empirical evidence of natural selection. Lobbying brought Darwin Britain's highest scientific honour, the Royal Society's Copley Medal, awarded on 3 November 1864. That day, Huxley held the first meeting of what became the influential "X Club" devoted to "science, pure and free, untrammelled by religious dogmas". By the end of the decade most scientists agreed that evolution occurred, but only a minority supported Darwin's view that the chief mechanism was natural selection. The ''Origin of Species'' was translated into many languages, becoming a staple scientific text attracting thoughtful attention from all walks of life, including the "working men" who flocked to Huxley's lectures. Darwin's theory also resonated with various movements at the time and became a key fixture of popular culture. Cartoonists parodied animal ancestry in an old tradition of showing humans with animal traits, and in Britain these droll images served to popularise Darwin's theory in an unthreatening way. While ill in 1862 Darwin began growing a beard, and when he reappeared in public in 1866 caricatures of him as an ape helped to identify all forms of evolutionism with Darwinism.


''Descent of Man'', sexual selection, and botany

Despite repeated bouts of illness during the last twenty-two years of his life, Darwin's work continued. Having published ''On the Origin of Species'' as an abstract (summary), abstract of his theory, he pressed on with experiments, research, and writing of his "big book". He covered human evolution, human descent from earlier animals including evolution of society and of mental abilities, as well as explaining decorative beauty in wildlife and diversifying into innovative plant studies. Enquiries about insect pollination led in 1861 to novel studies of wild orchids, showing adaptation of their flowers to Pollination syndrome, attract specific moths to each species and ensure heterosis, cross fertilisation. In 1862 ''Fertilisation of Orchids'' gave his first detailed demonstration of the power of natural selection to explain complex ecological relationships, making testable predictions. As his health declined, he lay on his sickbed in a room filled with inventive experiments to trace the movements of vine, climbing plants. Admiring visitors included Ernst Haeckel, a zealous proponent of ''Darwinismus'' incorporating Lamarckism and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe's idealism. Wallace remained supportive, though he increasingly turned to Spiritualism (religious movement), Spiritualism. Darwin's book ''The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication'' (1868) was the first part of his planned "big book", and included his unsuccessful hypothesis of pangenesis attempting to explain heredity. It sold briskly at first, despite its size, and was translated into many languages. He wrote most of a second part, on natural selection, but it remained unpublished in his lifetime. Charles Lyell, Lyell had already popularised human prehistory, and Thomas Henry Huxley, Huxley had shown that anatomically humans are apes. With ''The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex'' published in 1871, Darwin set out evidence from numerous sources that humans are animals, showing continuity of physical and mental attributes, and presented
sexual selection Sexual selection is a mode of natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrat ...
to explain impractical animal features such as the peacock's plumage as well as human evolution of culture, differences between sexes, and physical and cultural Race (human categorization), racial classification, while emphasising that humans are all one species. His research using images was expanded in his 1872 book ''
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals ''The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals'' is Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism ...
'', one of the first books to feature printed photographs, which discussed the evolutionary psychology, evolution of human psychology and its continuity with the ethology, behaviour of animals. Both books proved very popular, and Darwin was impressed by the general assent with which his views had been received, remarking that "everybody is talking about it without being shocked." His conclusion was "that man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system—with all these exalted powers—Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." His evolution-related experiments and investigations led to books on orchids, ''Insectivorous Plants (book), Insectivorous Plants, The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom'', different forms of flowers on plants of the same species, and ''The Power of Movement in Plants''. He continued to collect information and exchange views from scientific correspondents all over the world, including Mary Treat, whom he encouraged to persevere in her scientific work. His botanical work was interpreted and popularised by various writers including Grant Allen and H. G. Wells, an
helped transform plant science
in the late 19th century and early 20th century. In his last book he returned to ''The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms''.


Death and funeral

In 1882 he was diagnosed with what was called "angina pectoris" which then meant coronary thrombosis and disease of the heart. At the time of his death, the physicians diagnosed "anginal attacks", and "heart-failure". It has been speculated that Darwin may have had chronic Chagas disease. This speculation is based on a journal entry written by Darwin, describing he was bitten by the "Triatominae, Kissing Bug" in Mendoza, Argentina, in 1835; and based on the constellation of clinical symptoms he exhibited, including cardiac disease which is a hallmark of chronic Chagas disease. Exhuming Darwin's body would probably be necessary to definitively determine his state of infection by detecting DNA of infecting parasite, ''Trypanosoma cruzi, T. cruzi'', that causes Chagas disease. He died at Down House on 19 April 1882. His last words were to his family, telling Emma "I am not the least afraid of death—Remember what a good wife you have been to me—Tell all my children to remember how good they have been to me", then while she rested, he repeatedly told Henrietta and Francis "It's almost worth while to be sick to be nursed by you". He had expected to be buried in St Mary's churchyard at Downe, but at the request of Darwin's colleagues, after public and parliamentary petitioning, William Spottiswoode (President of the Royal Society) arranged for Darwin to be honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey, close to
John Herschel Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet (; 7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871) was an English polymath active as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, experimental photographer who invented the blueprint, and did botanical wor ...
and Isaac Newton. The funeral was held on Wednesday 26 April and was attended by thousands of people, including family, friends, scientists, philosophers and dignitaries.


Legacy

By the time of his death, Darwin and his colleagues had convinced most scientists that
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
as descent with modification was correct, and he was regarded as a great scientist who had revolutionised ideas. In June 1909, though few at that time agreed with his view that "natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification", he was honoured by more than 400 officials and scientists from across the world who met in Cambridge to Darwin Day, commemorate his centenary and the fiftieth anniversary of ''On the Origin of Species''.

Around the beginning of the 20th century, a period that has been called "the eclipse of Darwinism", scientists proposed various alternative evolutionary mechanisms, which eventually proved untenable. Ronald Fisher, an English statistics, statistician, finally united Mendelian genetics with natural selection, in the period between 1918 and his 1930 book ''The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection''. He gave the theory a mathematical footing and brought broad scientific consensus that natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution, thus founding the basis for population genetics and the modern evolutionary synthesis, with J.B.S. Haldane and Sewall Wright, which set the frame of reference for modern debates and refinements of the theory.


Commemoration

During Darwin's lifetime, many geographical features were given his name. An expanse of water adjoining the Beagle Channel was named ''Darwin Sound'' by
Robert FitzRoy Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy (5 July 1805 – 30 April 1865) was an English officer of the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from th ...

Robert FitzRoy
after Darwin's prompt action, along with two or three of the men, saved them from being marooned on a nearby shore when a collapsing glacier caused a large wave that would have swept away their boats, and the nearby Mount Darwin (Andes), Mount Darwin in the Andes was named in celebration of Darwin's 25th birthday. When the ''HMS Beagle, Beagle'' was surveying Australia in 1839, Darwin's friend John Lort Stokes sighted a natural harbour which the ship's captain John Clements Wickham, Wickham named ''Port Darwin'': a nearby settlement was renamed Darwin, Northern Territory, Darwin in 1911, and it became the capital city of Australia's Northern Territory. Stephen Heard identified 389 species that have been named after Darwin, and there are at least 9 genus, genera. In one example, the group of tanagers related to those Darwin found in the
Galápagos Islands The Galápagos Islands (official name: , other Spanish language, Spanish name: , , ), part of the Republic of Ecuador, are an archipelago of High island, volcanic islands. They are distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean ...
became popularly known as "Darwin's finches" in 1947, fostering inaccurate legends about their significance to his work. Darwin's work has continued to be celebrated by numerous publications and events. The Linnean Society of London has commemorated Darwin's achievements by the award of the Darwin–Wallace Medal since 1908. Darwin Day has become an annual celebration, and in 2009 worldwide events were arranged for the bicentenary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of ''On the Origin of Species''. Darwin has been commemorated in the UK, with his portrait printed on the reverse of £10 banknotes printed along with a hummingbird and HMS Beagle, HMS ''Beagle'', issued by the Bank of England note issues, Bank of England. A life-size seated statue of Darwin can be seen in the main hall of the Natural History Museum, London, Natural History Museum in London. A seated statue of Darwin, unveiled 1897, stands in front of Shrewsbury Library, the building that used to house
Shrewsbury School Shrewsbury School is a public school (English independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvani ...
, which Darwin attended as a boy. Another statue of Darwin as a young man is situated in the grounds of
Christ's College, Cambridge Christ's College is a constituent college A collegiate university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education ...
. Darwin College, Cambridge, Darwin College, a postgraduate college at Cambridge University, is named after the Darwin family. In 2008–09, the Swedish band The Knife, in collaboration with Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma and other musicians from Denmark, Sweden and the US, created an opera about the life of Darwin, and ''The Origin of Species'', entitled ''Tomorrow, in a Year''. The show toured European theatres in 2010.


Children

The Darwins had ten children: two died in infancy, and Anne Darwin, Annie's death at the age of ten had a devastating effect on her parents. Charles was a devoted father and uncommonly attentive to his children. Whenever they fell ill, he feared that they might have inherited weaknesses from inbreeding due to the close family ties he shared with his cousin marriage, wife and cousin, Emma Wedgwood. He examined inbreeding in his writings, contrasting it with the advantages of outcrossing in many species. Despite his fears, most of the surviving children and many of their descendants went on to have distinguished careers. Of his surviving children, George Darwin, George, Francis Darwin, Francis and Horace Darwin, Horace became Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellows of the Royal Society, distinguished as astronomer, botanist and civil engineer, respectively. All three were knighted. Another son, Leonard Darwin, Leonard, went on to be a soldier, politician, economist, eugenics, eugenicist and mentor of the statistician and evolutionary biologist Ronald Fisher.


Views and opinions


Religious views

Darwin's family tradition was Nonconformist (Protestantism), nonconformist Unitarianism, while his father and grandfather were freethought, freethinkers, and his baptism and boarding school were Church of England. When going to Cambridge to become an Anglicanism, Anglican clergyman, he did not "in the least doubt the strict and Biblical inerrancy, literal truth of every word in the Bible". He learned
John Herschel Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet (; 7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871) was an English polymath active as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, experimental photographer who invented the blueprint, and did botanical wor ...
's science which, like
William Paley William Paley (July 174325 May 1805) was an English clergyman, Christian apologetics, Christian apologist, philosopher, and Utilitarianism, utilitarian. He is best known for his natural theology exposition of the teleological argument for the ex ...
's
natural theology Natural theology, once also termed physico-theology, is a type of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
, sought explanations in laws of nature rather than miracles and saw
adaptation In , adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits s to their environment, enhancing their . Secondly, it is a state reached by the population during that process. Thirdly, it is a or adapti ...

adaptation
of species as teleological argument, evidence of design. On board HMS ''Beagle'', Darwin was quite orthodoxy, orthodox and would quote the Bible as an authority on morality. He looked for "centres of creation" to explain distribution, and suggested that the very similar antlions found in Australia and England were evidence of a divine hand. By his return, he was Historical criticism, critical of the Bible as history, and wondered why all religions should not be equally valid. In the next few years, while intensively speculating on geology and the transmutation of species, he gave much thought to religion and openly discussed this with his wife Emma Darwin, Emma, whose beliefs also came from intensive study and questioning. The theodicy of Paley and Thomas Malthus vindicated evils such as starvation as a result of a benevolent creator's laws, which had an overall good effect. To Darwin, natural selection produced the good of adaptation but removed the need for design, and he could not see the work of an omnipotent deity in all the pain and suffering, such as the ichneumon wasp paralysing caterpillars as live food for its eggs. Though he thought of religion as a tribe, tribal survival strategy, Darwin was reluctant to give up the idea of deism, God as an ultimate lawgiver. He was increasingly troubled by the problem of evil. Darwin remained close friends with the Vicar (Anglicanism), vicar of Downe, John Brodie Innes, and continued to play a leading part in the parish work of the church, but from around 1849 would go for a walk on Sundays while his family attended church. He considered it "absurd to doubt that a man might be an ardent theist and an evolutionist"Letter 12041
 – Darwin, C. R. to Fordyce, John, 7 May 1879
Darwin's Complex loss of Faith
The Guardian 17 September 2009
and, though reticent about his religious views, in 1879 he wrote that "I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. – I think that generally ... an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind". The "Elizabeth, Lady Hope, Lady Hope Story", published in 1915, claimed that Darwin had reverted to Christianity on his sickbed. The claims were repudiated by Darwin's children and have been dismissed as false by historians.


Human society

Darwin's views on social and political issues reflected his time and social position. He grew up in a family of Whigs (British political party), Whig reformers who, like his uncle Josiah Wedgwood, supported Reform Act 1832, electoral reform and the Abolitionism in the United Kingdom, emancipation of slaves. Darwin was passionately opposed to slavery, while seeing no problem with the working conditions of English factory workers or servants. Taking taxidermy lessons in 1826 from the freed slave
John Edmonstone John Edmonstone was an enslaved black man probably born in Demerara Demerara ( nl, Demerary) is a historical region in the Guianas on the north coast of South America which is now part of the country of Guyana. It was a Dutch colonization of th ...
, whom Darwin long recalled as "a very pleasant and intelligent man", reinforced his belief that black people shared the same feelings, and could be as intelligent as people of other races. He took the same attitude to native people he met on the ''Beagle'' voyage. These attitudes were not unusual in Britain in the 1820s, much as it shocked visiting Americans. British society started to envisage racial differences more distinctly in mid-century, but Darwin remained strongly against slavery, against "ranking the so-called races of man as distinct species", and against ill-treatment of native people. Darwin's interaction with Yaghan people, Yaghans (Fuegians) such as
Jemmy Button Orundellico, known as "Jeremy Button" or "Jemmy Button" (c. 1815–1864), was a native Fuegians, Fuegian of the Yaghan people, Yaghan (or Yámana) people from islands around Tierra del Fuego, in modern Chile and Argentina. He was taken to England by ...

Jemmy Button
during the Second voyage of HMS Beagle, second voyage of HMS ''Beagle'' had a profound impact on his view of indigenous peoples. At his arrival to
Tierra del Fuego #REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego #REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego#REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego Tierra del Fuego (, ; Spanish for "Land of Fire", formerly also Fireland in English) is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or i ...

Tierra del Fuego
he made a colourful description of "Fuegian savages". This view changed as he came to know Yaghan people more in detail. By studying the Yaghans, Darwin concluded that a number of basic emotions by different human groups were the same and that mental capabilities were roughly the same as for Europeans. While interested in Yaghan culture Darwin failed to appreciate their deep ecological knowledge and elaborate cosmology until the 1850s when he inspected a dictionary of Yaghan language, Yaghan detailing 32,000 words. He saw that European colonisation would often lead to the extinction of native civilisations, and "tr[ied] to integrate colonialism into an evolutionary history of civilization analogous to natural history". He thought men's eminence over women was the outcome of sexual selection, a view disputed by Antoinette Brown Blackwell in her 1875 book ''The Sexes Throughout Nature''. Darwin was intrigued by his half-cousin Francis Galton's argument, introduced in 1865, that Historiometry, statistical analysis of heredity showed that moral and mental human traits could be inherited, and principles of animal breeding could apply to humans. In ''The Descent of Man'', Darwin noted that aiding the weak to survive and have families could lose the benefits of natural selection, but cautioned that withholding such aid would endanger the instinct of sympathy, "the noblest part of our nature", and factors such as education could be more important. When Galton suggested that publishing research could encourage intermarriage within a "caste" of "those who are naturally gifted", Darwin foresaw practical difficulties, and thought it "the sole feasible, yet I fear utopian, plan of procedure in improving the human race", preferring to simply publicise the importance of inheritance and leave decisions to individuals. Francis Galton named this field of study "eugenics" in 1883. After Darwin's death, his theories were cited to promote eugenic policies.


Evolutionary social movements

Darwin's fame and popularity led to his name being associated with ideas and movements that, at times, had only an indirect relation to his writings, and sometimes went directly against his express comments. Thomas Malthus had argued that Malthusian catastrophe, population growth beyond resources was ordained by God to get humans to Protestant work ethic, work productively and show restraint in getting families; this was used in the 1830s to justify workhouses and laissez-faire economics.
Evolution was by then seen as having social implications, and Herbert Spencer's 1851 book ''Social Statics'' based ideas of human freedom and individual liberties on his Lamarckian evolutionary theory. Soon after the ''Origin'' was published in 1859, critics derided his description of a struggle for existence as a Malthusian justification for the English industrial capitalism of the time. The term ''Darwinism'' was used for the evolutionary ideas of others, including Spencer's "survival of the fittest" as free-market progress, and Ernst Haeckel's polygenism, polygenistic ideas of Ernst Haeckel#Polygenism and racial theory, human development. Writers used natural selection to argue for various, often contradictory, ideologies such as laissez-faire dog-eat-dog capitalism, colonialism and New Imperialism, imperialism. However, Darwin's holistic view of nature included "dependence of one being on another"; thus pacifism, pacifists, socialists, liberal social reformers and anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin stressed the value of co-operation over struggle within a species. Darwin himself insisted that social policy should not simply be guided by concepts of struggle and selection in nature. After the 1880s, a eugenics movement developed on ideas of biological inheritance, and for scientific justification of their ideas appealed to some concepts of Darwinism. In Britain, most shared Darwin's cautious views on voluntary improvement and sought to encourage those with good traits in "positive eugenics". During the "Eclipse of Darwinism", a scientific foundation for eugenics was provided by Mendelian inheritance, Mendelian genetics. Negative eugenics to remove the "feebleminded" were popular in America, Canada and Australia, and eugenics in the United States introduced compulsory sterilisation laws, followed by several other countries. Subsequently, Nazi eugenics brought the field into disrepute. The term "Social Darwinism" was used infrequently from around the 1890s, but became popular as a derogatory term in the 1940s when used by Richard Hofstadter to attack the laissez-faire conservatism of those like William Graham Sumner who opposed reform and socialism. Since then, it has been used as a term of abuse by those opposed to what they think are the moral consequences of evolution.


Works

Darwin was a prolific writer. Even without publication of his works on evolution, he would have had a considerable reputation as the author of ''The Voyage of the Beagle'', as a geologist who had published extensively on South America and had solved the puzzle of the formation of coral atolls, and as a biologist who had published the definitive work on barnacles. While ''On the Origin of Species'' dominates perceptions of his work, ''The Descent of Man'' and ''
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals ''The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals'' is Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism ...
'' had considerable impact, and his books on plants including ''The Power of Movement in Plants'' were innovative studies of great importance, as was his final work on ''The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms''.


See also

* Creation–evolution controversy * European and American voyages of scientific exploration * History of biology * History of evolutionary thought * List of coupled cousins * List of multiple discoveries#19th century, List of multiple discoveries * Multiple discovery * Portraits of Charles Darwin * Tinamou egg * Universal Darwinism * 1991 Darwin * Creation (2009 film), ''Creation'' (biographical drama film) * Darwin Awards


Notes

. Darwin was eminent as a naturalist, geologist,
biologist A biologist is a professional who has specialized knowledge in the field of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Mol ...
, and author. After a summer as a physician's assistant (helping his father) and two years as a medical student, he went to Cambridge for the ordinary degree to qualify as a clergyman; he was also trained in
taxidermy Taxidermy is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and inte ...

taxidermy
. .
Robert FitzRoy Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy (5 July 1805 – 30 April 1865) was an English officer of the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from th ...

Robert FitzRoy
was to become known after the voyage for biblical literalism, but at this time he had considerable interest in Lyell's ideas, and they met before the voyage when Lyell asked for observations to be made in South America. FitzRoy's diary during the ascent of the River Santa Cruz in
Patagonia Patagonia () refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convent ...

Patagonia
recorded his opinion that the plains were
raised beach A raised beach, coastal terrace,Pinter, N (2010): 'Coastal Terraces, Sealevel, and Active Tectonics' (educational exercise), from 2/04/2011/ref> or perched coastline is a relatively flat, horizontal or gently inclined surface of marine origin,P ...
es, but on return, newly married to a very religious lady, he recanted these ideas. . In the section Morphology (biology), "Morphology" of Chapter XIII of ''On the Origin of Species'', Darwin commented on Homology (biology), homologous bone patterns between humans and other mammals, writing: "What can be more curious than that the hand of a man, formed for grasping, that of a mole for digging, the leg of the horse, the paddle of the porpoise, and the wing of the bat, should all be constructed on the same pattern, and should include the same bones, in the same relative positions?" and in the concluding chapter: "The framework of bones being the same in the hand of a man, wing of a bat, fin of the porpoise, and leg of the horse … at once explain themselves on the theory of descent with slow and slight successive modifications." . In ''
On the Origin of Species ''On the Origin of Species'' (or, more completely, ''On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life''),The book's full original title was ''On the Origin of Species by Me ...
'' Darwin mentioned human evolution, human origins in his concluding remark that "In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history." In "Chapter VI: Difficulties on Theory" he referred to
sexual selection Sexual selection is a mode of natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrat ...
: "I might have adduced for this same purpose the differences between the races of man, which are so strongly marked; I may add that some little light can apparently be thrown on the origin of these differences, chiefly through sexual selection of a particular kind, but without here entering on copious details my reasoning would appear frivolous." In ''The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, The Descent of Man'' of 1871, Darwin discussed the first passage: "During many years I collected notes on the origin or descent of man, without any intention of publishing on the subject, but rather with the determination not to publish, as I thought that I should thus only add to the prejudices against my views. It seemed to me sufficient to indicate, in the first edition of my 'Origin of Species,' that by this work 'light would be thrown on the origin of man and his history;' and this implies that man must be included with other organic beings in any general conclusion respecting his manner of appearance on this earth." In a preface to the 1874 second edition, he added a reference to the second point: "it has been said by several critics, that when I found that many details of structure in man could not be explained through natural selection, I invented sexual selection; I gave, however, a tolerably clear sketch of this principle in the first edition of the 'Origin of Species,' and I there stated that it was applicable to man." . See, for example, WILLA volume 4,
Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Feminization of Education
' by Deborah M. De Simone: "Gilman shared many basic educational ideas with the generation of thinkers who matured during the period of "intellectual chaos" caused by Darwin's Origin of the Species. Marked by the belief that individuals can direct human and social evolution, many progressives came to view education as the panacea for advancing social progress and for solving such problems as urbanisation, poverty, or immigration." . See, for example, the song "A lady fair of lineage high" from Gilbert and Sullivan's ''Princess Ida'', which describes the descent of man (but not woman!) from apes. . Darwin's belief that black people had the same essential humanity as Europeans, and had many mental similarities, was reinforced by the lessons he had from
John Edmonstone John Edmonstone was an enslaved black man probably born in Demerara Demerara ( nl, Demerary) is a historical region in the Guianas on the north coast of South America which is now part of the country of Guyana. It was a Dutch colonization of th ...
in 1826. Early in the ''Beagle'' voyage, Darwin nearly lost his position on the ship when he criticised FitzRoy's defence and praise of slavery. He wrote home about "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! I was told before leaving England that after living in slave countries all my opinions would be altered; the only alteration I am aware of is forming a much higher estimate of the negro character." Regarding
Fuegians Fuegians are the indigenous inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of South America. In English, the term originally referred to the Yaghan people of Tierra del Fuego. In Spanish, the term ''fueguino'' can refer to any person from th ...
, he "could not have believed how wide was the difference between savage and civilized man: it is greater than between a wild and domesticated animal, inasmuch as in man there is a greater power of improvement", but he knew and liked civilised Fuegians like
Jemmy Button Orundellico, known as "Jeremy Button" or "Jemmy Button" (c. 1815–1864), was a native Fuegians, Fuegian of the Yaghan people, Yaghan (or Yámana) people from islands around Tierra del Fuego, in modern Chile and Argentina. He was taken to England by ...

Jemmy Button
: "It seems yet wonderful to me, when I think over all his many good qualities, that he should have been of the same race, and doubtless partaken of the same character, with the miserable, degraded savages whom we first met here." In the ''Descent of Man'', he mentioned the similarity of Fuegians' and Edmonstone's minds to Europeans' when arguing against "ranking the so-called races of man as distinct species". He rejected the ill-treatment of native people, and for example wrote of massacres of
Patagonia Patagonia () refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convent ...

Patagonia
n men, women, and children, "Every one here is fully convinced that this is the most just war, because it is against barbarians. Who would believe in this age that such atrocities could be committed in a Christian civilized country?" . Geneticists studied human heredity as Mendelian inheritance, while eugenics movements sought to manage society, with a focus on social class in the United Kingdom, and on disability and ethnicity in the United States, leading to geneticists seeing this as impractical pseudoscience. A shift from voluntary arrangements to "negative" eugenics included compulsory sterilisation laws in the United States, copied by Nazi Germany as the basis for Nazi eugenics based on virulent racism and "racial hygiene".
(
) . David Quammen writes of his "theory that [Darwin] turned to these arcane botanical studies – producing more than one book that was solidly empirical, discreetly evolutionary, yet a 'horrid bore' – at least partly so that the clamorous controversialists, fighting about apes and angels and souls, would leave him... alone". David Quammen, "The Brilliant Plodder" (review of Ken Thompson, ''Darwin's Most Wonderful Plants: A Tour of His Botanical Legacy'', University of Chicago Press, 255 pp.; Elizabeth Hennessy, ''On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galápagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden'', Yale University Press, 310 pp.; Bill Jenkins, ''Evolution Before Darwin: Theories of the Transmutation of Species in Edinburgh, 1804–1834'', Edinburgh University Press, 222 pp.), ''The New York Review of Books'', vol. LXVII, no. 7 (23 April 2020), pp. 22–24. Quammen, quoted from p. 24 of his review.


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External links

* * * * * The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online 
Darwin Online
Darwin's publications, private papers and bibliography, supplementary works including biographies, obituaries and reviews
Darwin Correspondence Project
Full text and notes for complete correspondence to 1867, with summaries of all the rest, and pages of commentary
Darwin Manuscript Project
* * * View books owned and annotated b
Charles Darwin
at the online Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Digitised Darwin Manuscripts
in Cambridge Digital Library * *
Charles Darwin in the British horticultural press
– Occasional Papers from RHS Lindley Library, volume 3 July 2010 *Scientific American, 29 April 1882, pp. 256
Obituary of Charles Darwin
{{DEFAULTSORT:Darwin, Charles Charles Darwin, 1809 births 1882 deaths 19th-century British biologists 19th-century English writers Alumni of Christ's College, Cambridge Alumni of the University of Edinburgh Botanists with author abbreviations British carcinologists Burials at Westminster Abbey Circumnavigators of the globe Coleopterists Darwin–Wedgwood family Deaths from coronary thrombosis English abolitionists English agnostics English Anglicans English entomologists English geologists English naturalists English sceptics English travel writers Ethologists Evolutionary biologists Evolutionary biology Fellows of the Linnean Society of London Fellows of the Royal Entomological Society Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society Fellows of the Royal Society Fellows of the Zoological Society of London Human evolution theorists Human evolution Independent scientists Members of the American Philosophical Society Members of the Lincean Academy Members of the Royal Academy of Belgium Members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences People educated at Shrewsbury School People from Shrewsbury Recipients of the Copley Medal Recipients of the Pour le Mérite (civil class) Royal Medal winners Utilitarians Wollaston Medal winners