Charles Darwin

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CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN

(1809-1882)

Charles Darwin was a very famous British scientist who laid the foundation of modern evolutionary theory with his concept of the development of all forms of life through the slow working process of natural selection. His work was mainly based on the life and earth sciences an on modern thought in general.

Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England on February 12, 1809. He was the fifth child of Robert Warning Darwin. After Char-les had graduated from the elite school at Shrewsbury in 1825, young Darwin went to the University of Edinburg to study medicine. In 1827 he had dropped out of medical school and attended University of Cambridge to prepare to become a cler-gyman of the Church of England. There he met two stellar figures, Adam Sedg-wick, a geologist, and John Stevens Henslow, a naturalist. Henslow not only helped build Darwin's self-confidence, but also taught his student to be a meticulous and painstaking observer of natural phenomena and collector of specimens. After Char-les had graduated from Cambridge he was taken aboard the English survey ship HMS Beagle, largely on Henslow's recommendation, as an unpaid naturalist on a scientific expedition around the world.

Now Charles Darwin was around the age twenty-two while he was on the HMS Beagle. Darwin's job as a naturalist aboard the Beagle gave him the opportu-nity to observe the various geological formations found on different continents and islands along the way, as well as a huge variety of fossils and organisms. In his geo-logical observations he was amazed mostly with the effect that natural forces had on shaping the earth's surface.

During this time, most geologists stuck to the so-called catastrophes theory that the earth had experienced a succession of creations of animal and plant life, and that each creation had been destroyed by a sudden catastrophe, such as an upheaval of the earth's...
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