Most educated people in Europe and the Americas during the 19th century had heard of or been exposed to Charles Darwin and the concept of evolution. Although he did not invent the idea, he did carry out the necessary research to document that evolution occurred and then made the idea acceptable for scientists and the general public. This was not easy to do, as the idea of evolution was not widely accepted because of the views of the post-revolutionary France. These ideas were considered a threat to the social and political order. Charles Darwin was born in 1809 into a wealthy family; his father had the largest medical practice outside of London and his mother Susan Wedgewood was from a family of wealthy pottery makers. She passed away when Charles was just eight years old. Growing up the times were such that Charles future was mainly mapped out for him. He would go away to a university and study to be a doctor, a military officer or a cleric in the Church of England. Charles started school at 16 in Edinburgh, Scotland as a medical student. He had little interest in medicine and was disgusted by surgery. He ended up dropping up after two years. His father then sent him to Cambridge University to study theology. It was here that he began to change his direction in life. He became very interested in science and the ideas of Adam Sedgwick, a geologist and John Henslow a naturalist that he spent time with collecting specimens. Interestingly enough, at this time in his life he was known to reject the concept of biological evolution, like his mentors, Sedgwick and Henslow did. He had been exposed to evolution earlier while he was a student in Edinburgh. Charles graduated from Cambridge in 1831 with a degree in theology with a degree in theology. Unfortunately for him, he was more interested in biology than he was in theology. Against his father’s initial wishes Charles was able to secure a spot on the H.M.S Beagle as a gentleman...
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