Darwin - Pioneer of Evolutionary Theory

Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, John Stevens Henslow

Charles Darwin: Pioneer of Evolution Theory
Charles Darwin is the source of one of the biggest controversial subjects in the modern world. A pioneer of evolutionary biology, Darwin’s ideas and observations are all the more important in today’s further understanding of the sciences. Darwin’s work and understanding has propelled him to become one of the most influential scientists that ever lived.

The Grandfather of Charles, Erasmus Darwin, was a physician and poet with a fascination for natural philosophy. (Berra, 2). He was a kind-hearted man and enjoyed a comfortable life due to his popularity as a physician. He refused payment from poor patients and even offered them food and money! He was very close to several of the wealthy patients who made his comfortable life possible, and was a member of a group of intellectuals that jokingly called themselves the Lunatics. This group included James Watt, who perfected the steam engine, and Joseph Priestley, who is credited with the discovery of oxygen. Perhaps more importantly, the work that Erasmus proposed included an explanation for the origin and development of life. He published a book where he discussed cross-fertilization of plants as well as the domestication of animals. He also published other works discussing inheritance mechanisms and sexual selection.

Robert Darwin, like his father, was a respected physician. His marriage with Susannah Wedgwood was a result of the friendship between Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood, the man credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. They had six children, four of which were girls.

Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809. The family home, the Mount, was located in Shrewsbury. Except for the death of his mother in 1817, Charles had a happy as well as privileged childhood. Uninterested in the classical education in his home town, he enjoyed hunting at the age of fifteen. His father was displeased with his son’s newfound interest, and...
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