Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

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Charles Robert Darwin FRS
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist
Natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

. He established that all species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of life have descended over time from common ancestry
Common descent
In evolutionary biology, a group of organisms share common descent if they have a common ancestor. There is strong quantitative support for the theory that all living organisms on Earth are descended from a common ancestor....

, and proposed the scientific theory
Scientific theory
A scientific theory comprises a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules that express relationships between observations of such concepts...

 that this branching pattern
Phylogenetics
In biology, phylogenetics is the study of evolutionary relatedness among groups of organisms , which is discovered through molecular sequencing data and morphological data matrices...

 of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 resulted from a process that he called natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

.

He published his theory with compelling evidence for evolution in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species
Transmutation of species
Transmutation of species was a term used by Jean Baptiste Lamarck in 1809 for his theory that described the altering of one species into another, and the term is often used to describe 19th century evolutionary ideas that preceded Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection...

. By the 1870s the scientific community
Scientific community
The scientific community consists of the total body of scientists, its relationships and interactions. It is normally divided into "sub-communities" each working on a particular field within science. Objectivity is expected to be achieved by the scientific method...

 and much of the general public accepted evolution as a fact
Evolution as theory and fact
"Evolution is both fact and theory" is a statement that appears in numerous publications on biological evolution. The statement is framed to clarify misconceptions about the philosophy of evolution primarily in response to creationist statements that "evolution is only a theory"...

. However, many favoured competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis
Modern evolutionary synthesis
The modern evolutionary synthesis is a union of ideas from several biological specialties which provides a widely accepted account of evolution...

 from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed that natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences
Life sciences
The life sciences comprise the fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms, like plants, animals, and human beings. While biology remains the centerpiece of the life sciences, technological advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to a burgeoning of...

, explaining the diversity of life
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

.

Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education
Medical education
Medical education is education related to the practice of being a medical practitioner, either the initial training to become a doctor or additional training thereafter ....

 at the University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

; instead, he helped to investigate marine invertebrates
Marine invertebrates
Marine invertebrates are animals that inhabit a marine environment and are invertebrates, lacking a vertebral column. In order to protect themselves, they may have evolved a shell or a hard exoskeleton, but this is not always the case....

. Studies at the University of Cambridge encouraged his passion for natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

. His five-year voyage
Second voyage of HMS Beagle
The second voyage of HMS Beagle, from 27 December 1831 to 2 October 1836, was the second survey expedition of HMS Beagle, under captain Robert FitzRoy who had taken over command of the ship on its first voyage after her previous captain committed suicide...

 on established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell
Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation...

's uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage
The Voyage of the Beagle
The Voyage of the Beagle is a title commonly given to the book written by Charles Darwin and published in 1839 as his Journal and Remarks, bringing him considerable fame and respect...

 made him famous as a popular author.

Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossil
Fossil
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past...

s 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
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace, OM, FRS was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist...

 sent him an essay which 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
Human evolution refers to the evolutionary history of the genus Homo, including the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species and as a unique category of hominids and mammals...

 and sexual selection
Sexual selection
Sexual selection, a concept introduced by Charles Darwin in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, is a significant element of his theory of natural selection...

 in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals is a book by Charles Darwin, published in 1872, concerning genetically determined aspects of behaviour. It was published thirteen years after On The Origin of Species and is, along with his 1871 book The Descent of Man, Darwin's main consideration...

. His research on plants was published in a series of books, and in his final book, he examined earthworm
Earthworm
Earthworm is the common name for the largest members of Oligochaeta in the phylum Annelida. In classical systems they were placed in the order Opisthopora, on the basis of the male pores opening posterior to the female pores, even though the internal male segments are anterior to the female...

s and their effect on soil.

In recognition of Darwin's pre-eminence as a scientist, he was honoured by a major ceremonial funeral in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, where he was buried close to John Herschel
John Herschel
Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet KH, FRS ,was an English mathematician, astronomer, chemist, and experimental photographer/inventor, who in some years also did valuable botanical work...

 and Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history.

Childhood and education



Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Lying on the River Severn, it is a civil parish home to some 70,000 inhabitants, and is the primary settlement and headquarters of Shropshire Council...

, Shropshire, England on 12 February 1809 at his family home, the Mount
The Mount, Shrewsbury
The Mount, is the site of a house in Shrewsbury, officially known as Mount House that belonged to Robert Darwin and was the birthplace of his son Charles Darwin.- Overview :...

. He was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin
Robert Darwin
Dr Robert Waring Darwin, F.R.S. was an English medical doctor, who today is best known as the father of the naturalist Charles Darwin. He was a member of the influential Darwin-Wedgwood family.-Biography:...

, and Susannah Darwin
Susannah Darwin
Susannah Darwin was the wife of Robert Darwin, and mother of Charles Darwin, and part of the Wedgwood pottery family. She was the daughter of Josiah and Sarah Wedgwood. In 1817 she started growing ill, with gastrointestinal symptoms that were probably a sign of either a severe ulcer or stomach...

 (née Wedgwood). He was the grandson of Erasmus Darwin
Erasmus Darwin
Erasmus Darwin was an English physician who turned down George III's invitation to be a physician to the King. One of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment, he was also a natural philosopher, physiologist, slave trade abolitionist,inventor and poet...

 on his father's side, and of Josiah Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood was an English potter, founder of the Wedgwood company, credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. A prominent abolitionist, Wedgwood is remembered for his "Am I Not A Man And A Brother?" anti-slavery medallion. He was a member of the Darwin–Wedgwood family...

 on his mother's side. Both families were largely Unitarian
Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

, though the Wedgwoods were adopting Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

. Robert Darwin, himself quietly a freethinker, had baby Charles baptised
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 in the Anglican Church, 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
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Erasmus Alvey Darwin , nicknamed Eras or Ras, was the older brother of Charles Darwin, born five years earlier, and also brought up at the family home, The Mount House, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England...

 attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School
Shrewsbury School
Shrewsbury School is a co-educational independent school for pupils aged 13 to 18, founded by Royal Charter in 1552. The present campus to which the school moved in 1882 is located on the banks of the River Severn in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England...

 as a boarder
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

.

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
University of Edinburgh Medical School
The University of Edinburgh Medical School is part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Edinburgh. Established nearly 283 years ago, Edinburgh Medical School is one of the oldest medical schools in Scotland and the UK...

 with his brother Erasmus in October 1825. He found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so neglected his studies. He learned taxidermy
Taxidermy
Taxidermy is the act of mounting or reproducing dead animals for display or for other sources of study. Taxidermy can be done on all vertebrate species of animals, including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians...

 from John Edmonstone
John Edmonstone
John Edmonstone was originally a black slave probably born in Demarara . He learned taxidermy from Charles Waterton, whose father in law, Charles Edmonstone had a plantation in Demarara.After he was freed, John came to Glasgow with his former master, Charles Edmonstone...

, a freed black slave who had accompanied Charles Waterton
Charles Waterton
Charles Waterton was an English naturalist and explorer.-Heritage and Life:"Squire" Waterton was born at Walton Hall, Wakefield, Yorkshire to Thomas Waterton and Anne Bedingfield. He was of a Roman Catholic landed gentry family descended from Reiner de Waterton...

 in the South American rainforest
Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

, and often sat with this "very pleasant and intelligent man".

In Darwin's second year he joined the Plinian Society
Plinian Society
The Plinian Society was a club at the University of Edinburgh for students interested in natural history. It was founded in 1823. Several of its members went on to have prominent careers, most notably Charles Darwin who announced his first scientific discoveries at the society.-Foundation,...

, a student natural history
Natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

 group whose debates strayed into radical
Radicalism (historical)
The term Radical was used during the late 18th century for proponents of the Radical Movement. It later became a general pejorative term for those favoring or seeking political reforms which include dramatic changes to the social order...

 materialism
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

. He assisted Robert Edmond Grant
Robert Edmond Grant
Robert Edmond Grant MD FRCPEd FRS was born in Edinburgh and educated at Edinburgh University as a physician. He became one of the foremost biologists of the early 19th century at Edinburgh and subsequently the first Professor of Comparative Anatomy at University College London...

's investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of marine invertebrates
Marine invertebrates
Marine invertebrates are animals that inhabit a marine environment and are invertebrates, lacking a vertebral column. In order to protect themselves, they may have evolved a shell or a hard exoskeleton, but this is not always the case....

 in the Firth of Forth
Firth of Forth
The Firth of Forth is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south...

, and on 27 March 1827 presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in oyster
Oyster
The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs which live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified....

 shells were the eggs of a skate leech
Leech
Leeches are segmented worms that belong to the phylum Annelida and comprise the subclass Hirudinea. Like other oligochaetes such as earthworms, leeches share a clitellum and are hermaphrodites. Nevertheless, they differ from other oligochaetes in significant ways...

. One day, Grant praised Lamarck's
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de la Marck , often known simply as Lamarck, was a French naturalist...

 evolutionary ideas
Lamarckism
Lamarckism is the idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring . It is named after the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck , who incorporated the action of soft inheritance into his evolutionary theories...

. Darwin was astonished, but had recently read the similar ideas of his grandfather Erasmus and remained indifferent. Darwin was rather bored by Robert Jameson
Robert Jameson
thumb|Robert JamesonProfessor Robert Jameson, FRS FRSE was a Scottish naturalist and mineralogist.As Regius Professor at the University of Edinburgh for fifty years, Jameson is notable for his advanced scholarship in natural history, his superb museum collection, and for his tuition of Charles...

's natural history course which covered geology including the debate between Neptunism
Neptunism
Neptunism is a discredited and obsolete scientific theory of geology proposed by Abraham Gottlob Werner in the late 18th century that proposed rocks formed from the crystallisation of minerals in the early Earth's oceans....

 and Plutonism
Plutonism
Plutonism is the geologic theory that the rocks forming the Earth were formed in fire by volcanic activity, with a continuing gradual process of weathering and erosion wearing away rocks, which were then deposited on the sea bed, re-formed into layers of sedimentary rock by heat and pressure, and...

. He learned classification
Alpha taxonomy
Alpha taxonomy is the discipline concerned with finding, describing and naming species of living or fossil organisms. This field is supported by institutions holding collections of these organisms, with relevant data, carefully curated: such institutes include natural history museums, herbaria and...

 of plants, and assisted with work on the collections of the University Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe at the time.

This neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge
Christ's College, Cambridge
Christ's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.With a reputation for high academic standards, Christ's College averaged top place in the Tompkins Table from 1980-2000 . In 2011, Christ's was placed sixth.-College history:...

, for a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican parson
Parson
In the pre-Reformation church, a parson was the priest of an independent parish church, that is, a parish church not under the control of a larger ecclesiastical or monastic organization...

. As Darwin was unqualified for the Tripos
Tripos
The University of Cambridge, England, divides the different kinds of honours bachelor's degree by Tripos , plural Triposes. The word has an obscure etymology, but may be traced to the three-legged stool candidates once used to sit on when taking oral examinations...

, he joined the ordinary degree course in January 1828. He preferred riding
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 and shooting
Shooting sports
A shooting sport is a competitive sport involving tests of proficiency using various types of guns such as firearms and airguns . Hunting is also a shooting sport, and indeed shooting live pigeons was an Olympic event...

 to studying. His cousin William Darwin Fox
William Darwin Fox
The Reverend William Darwin Fox was an English clergyman, naturalist, and a 2nd cousin of Charles Robert Darwin.- Early life :...

 introduced him to the popular craze for beetle
Beetle
Coleoptera is an order of insects commonly called beetles. The word "coleoptera" is from the Greek , koleos, "sheath"; and , pteron, "wing", thus "sheathed wing". Coleoptera contains more species than any other order, constituting almost 25% of all known life-forms...

 collecting which Darwin pursued zealously, getting some of his finds published in Stevens'
James Francis Stephens
James Francis Stephens was an English entomologist.-Biography:Stephens was born in Shoreham-by-Sea and studied at Christ's Hospital.He was employed in the Admiralty office, Somerset House, from 1807 to 1845...

 Illustrations of British entomology. He became a close friend and follower of botany professor John Stevens Henslow
John Stevens Henslow
John Stevens Henslow was an English clergyman, botanist and geologist. He is best remembered as friend and mentor to his pupil Charles Darwin.- Early life :...

 and met other leading naturalists who saw scientific work as religious natural theology
Natural theology
Natural theology is a branch of theology based on reason and ordinary experience. Thus it is distinguished from revealed theology which is based on scripture and religious experiences of various kinds; and also from transcendental theology, theology from a priori reasoning.Marcus Terentius Varro ...

, becoming known to these dons
University don
A don is a fellow or tutor of a college or university, especially traditional collegiate universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in England.The term — similar to the title still used for Catholic priests — is a historical remnant of Oxford and Cambridge having started as ecclesiastical...

 as "the man who walks with Henslow". When his own exams drew near, Darwin focused on his studies and was delighted by the language and logic of William Paley
William Paley
William Paley was a British Christian apologist, philosopher, and utilitarian. He is best known for his exposition of the teleological argument for the existence of God in his work Natural Theology, which made use of the watchmaker analogy .-Life:Paley was Born in Peterborough, England, and was...

's Evidences of Christianity. 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. He studied Paley's Natural Theology which made an argument for divine design in nature
Teleological argument
A teleological or design argument is an a posteriori argument for the existence of God based on apparent design and purpose in the universe. The argument is based on an interpretation of teleology wherein purpose and intelligent design appear to exist in nature beyond the scope of any such human...

, explaining adaptation
Adaptation
An adaptation in biology is a trait with a current functional role in the life history of an organism that is maintained and evolved by means of natural selection. An adaptation refers to both the current state of being adapted and to the dynamic evolutionary process that leads to the adaptation....

 as God acting through laws of nature. He read John Herschel
John Herschel
Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet KH, FRS ,was an English mathematician, astronomer, chemist, and experimental photographer/inventor, who in some years also did valuable botanical work...

's new book which described the highest aim of natural philosophy
Natural philosophy
Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature , is a term applied to the study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science...

 as understanding such laws through inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

 based on observation, and Alexander von Humboldt
Alexander von Humboldt
Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander Freiherr von Humboldt was a German naturalist and explorer, and the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt...

's Personal Narrative of scientific travels. Inspired with "a burning zeal" to contribute, Darwin planned to visit Tenerife
Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands, it is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 km² and 906,854 inhabitants, 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the...

 with some classmates after graduation to study natural history in the tropics. In preparation, he joined Adam Sedgwick
Adam Sedgwick
Adam Sedgwick was one of the founders of modern geology. He proposed the Devonian period of the geological timescale...

's geology course, then went with him in the summer for a fortnight to map strata in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. After a week with student friends at Barmouth
Barmouth
Barmouth ; Y Bermo ) is a town in the county of Gwynedd, north-western Wales, lying on the estuary of the River Mawddach and Cardigan Bay.The town is served by Barmouth railway station.- History :...

, he returned home to find a letter from Henslow proposing Darwin as a suitable (if unfinished) gentleman naturalist for a self-funded place with captain Robert FitzRoy
Robert FitzRoy
Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy RN achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage, and as a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate weather forecasting a reality...

, more as a companion than a mere collector, on which was to leave in four weeks on an expedition to chart the coastline of South America. His father objected to the planned two-year voyage, regarding it as a waste of time, but was persuaded by his brother-in-law, Josiah Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood II
Josiah Wedgwood II , the son of the English potter Josiah Wedgwood, continued his father's firm and was Member of Parliament for Stoke-upon-Trent from 1832 to 1835...

, to agree to his son's participation.

Voyage of the Beagle




Beginning on 27 December 1831, the voyage lasted almost five years and, as FitzRoy had intended, Darwin spent most of that time on land investigating geology and making natural history collections, while the Beagle surveyed and charted
Hydrography
Hydrography is the measurement of the depths, the tides and currents of a body of water and establishment of the sea, river or lake bed topography and morphology. Normally and historically for the purpose of charting a body of water for the safe navigation of shipping...

 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
The Voyage of the Beagle
The Voyage of the Beagle is a title commonly given to the book written by Charles Darwin and published in 1839 as his Journal and Remarks, bringing him considerable fame and respect...

 for his family. He had some expertise in geology, beetle collecting and dissecting marine invertebrates
Marine invertebrates
Marine invertebrates are animals that inhabit a marine environment and are invertebrates, lacking a vertebral column. In order to protect themselves, they may have evolved a shell or a hard exoskeleton, but this is not always the case....

, 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
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

 collected in a calm spell.

On their first stop ashore at St. Jago
Santiago, Cape Verde
Santiago , or Santiagu in Cape Verdean Creole, is the largest island of Cape Verde, its most important agricultural centre and home to half the nation’s population. At the time of Darwin's voyage it was called St. Jago....

, Darwin found that a white band high in the volcanic rock
Volcanic rock
Volcanic rock is a rock formed from magma erupted from a volcano. In other words, it is an igneous rock of volcanic origin...

 cliffs included seashells. FitzRoy had given him the first volume of Charles Lyell
Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation...

's Principles of Geology which set out uniformitarian 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.
In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Darwin was delighted by the tropical forest
Bahia coastal forests
The Bahia coastal forests are a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of eastern Brazil, part of the larger Atlantic Forest region.-Setting:...

, but detested the sight of slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

.

At Punta Alta
Punta Alta
Punta Alta is a city in Argentina, about 20 kilometers southeast of Bahía Blanca. It has a population of 57,296. It is the capital of the Coronel Rosales Partido...

 in Patagonia
Patagonia
Patagonia is a region located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the southwest towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean...

 he made a major find of fossil bones of huge extinct mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s in cliffs beside modern seashells, indicating recent extinction
Extinction
In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms , normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point...

 with no signs of change in climate or catastrophe. He identified the little known Megatherium
Megatherium
Megatherium was a genus of elephant-sized ground sloths endemic to Central America and South America that lived from the Pliocene through Pleistocene existing approximately...

by a tooth and its association with bony armour which had at first seemed to him like a giant version of the armour on local armadillo
Armadillo
Armadillos are New World placental mammals, known for having a leathery armor shell. Dasypodidae is the only surviving family in the order Cingulata, part of the superorder Xenarthra along with the anteaters and sloths. The word armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one"...

s. The finds brought great interest when they reached England. On rides with gaucho
Gaucho
Gaucho is a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Brazil...

s into the interior to explore geology and collect more fossils he gained social, political and anthropological
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 insights into both native and colonial people at a time of revolution, and learnt that two types of rhea
Rhea (bird)
The rheas are ratites in the genus Rhea, native to South America. There are two existing species: the Greater or American Rhea and the Lesser or Darwin's Rhea. The genus name was given in 1752 by Paul Möhring and adopted as the English common name. Möhring's reason for choosing this name, from the...

 had separate but overlapping territories. Further south he saw stepped plains of shingle and seashells as raised beach
Raised beach
A raised beach, marine terrace, or perched coastline is an emergent coastal landform. Raised beaches and marine terraces are beaches or wave-cut platforms raised above the shore line by a relative fall in the sea level ....

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 on board, who had been seized during the first Beagle voyage and had spent a year in England, were taken back to Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of a main island Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego divided between Chile and Argentina with an area of , and a group of smaller islands including Cape...

 as missionaries. Darwin found them friendly and civilised, yet their relatives seemed "miserable, degraded savages", as different as wild from domesticated animals. To Darwin the difference showed cultural advances, not racial inferiority. 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
Jemmy Button
Orundellico, known as "Jeremy Button" or "Jemmy Button", was a native Fuegian of the Yaghan people from islands around Tierra del Fuego, in modern Chile and Argentina...

 lived like the other natives, had a wife, and had no wish to return to England.

Darwin experienced an earthquake in Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and saw signs that the land had just been raised, including mussel
Mussel
The common name mussel is used for members of several families of clams or bivalvia mollusca, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval.The...

-beds stranded above high tide. High in the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 he saw seashells, and several fossil trees that had grown on a sand beach. He theorised that as the land rose, oceanic islands
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 sank, and coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s round them grew to form atoll
Atoll
An atoll is a coral island that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.- Usage :The word atoll comes from the Dhivehi word atholhu OED...

s.

On the geologically new Galápagos Islands
Galápagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean, west of continental Ecuador, of which they are a part.The Galápagos Islands and its surrounding waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a...

 Darwin looked for evidence attaching wildlife to an older "centre of creation", and found mockingbird
Mockingbird
Mockingbirds are a group of New World passerine birds from the Mimidae family. They are best known for the habit of some species mimicking the songs of other birds and the sounds of insects and amphibians, often loudly and in rapid succession. There are about 17 species in three genera...

s allied to those in Chile but differing from island to island. He heard that slight variations in the shape of tortoise
Tortoise
Tortoises are a family of land-dwelling reptiles of the order of turtles . Like their marine cousins, the sea turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge. The 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
Marsupial
Marsupials are an infraclass of mammals, characterized by giving birth to relatively undeveloped young. Close to 70% of the 334 extant species occur in Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands, with the remaining 100 found in the Americas, primarily in South America, but with thirteen in Central...

 rat-kangaroo and the platypus
Platypus
The platypus is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young...

 seemed so unusual that Darwin thought it was almost as though two distinct Creators had been at work. He found the Aborigines
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

 "good-humoured & pleasant", and noted their depletion by European settlement.

The Beagle investigated how the atolls of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
The Territory of the Cocos Islands, also called Cocos Islands and Keeling Islands, is a territory of Australia, located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Christmas Island and approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka....

 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
The Voyage of the Beagle
The Voyage of the Beagle is a title commonly given to the book written by Charles Darwin and published in 1839 as his Journal and Remarks, bringing him considerable fame and respect...

was eventually rewritten as a separate third volume, on natural history.

In Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

 Darwin and FitzRoy met John Herschel
John Herschel
Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet KH, FRS ,was an English mathematician, astronomer, chemist, and experimental photographer/inventor, who in some years also did valuable botanical work...

, who had recently written to Lyell praising his uniformitarianism
Uniformitarianism
In the philosophy of naturalism, the uniformitarianism assumption is that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now, have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. It has included the gradualistic concept that "the present is the...

 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 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



When the Beagle reached Falmouth, Cornwall
Falmouth, Cornwall
Falmouth is a town, civil parish and port on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It has a total resident population of 21,635.Falmouth is the terminus of the A39, which begins some 200 miles away in Bath, Somerset....

, on 2 October 1836, Darwin was already a celebrity in scientific circles as in December 1835 Henslow
John Stevens Henslow
John Stevens Henslow was an English clergyman, botanist and geologist. He is best remembered as friend and mentor to his pupil Charles Darwin.- Early life :...

 had fostered his former pupil's reputation by giving selected naturalists a pamphlet of Darwin's geological letters. Darwin visited his home in Shrewsbury and saw relatives, then hurried to Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

 to see Henslow, who advised on finding naturalists available to catalogue the collections and agreed to take on the botanical specimens. Darwin's father organised investments, enabling his son to be a self-funded gentleman
Gentleman
The term gentleman , in its original and strict signification, denoted a well-educated man of good family and distinction, analogous to the Latin generosus...

 scientist, and an excited Darwin went round the London institutions being fêted and seeking experts to describe the collections. Zoologists had a huge backlog of work, and there was a danger of specimens just being left in storage.

Charles Lyell
Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation...

 eagerly met Darwin for the first time on 29 October and soon introduced him to the up-and-coming anatomist Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Sir Richard Owen, FRS KCB was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.Owen is probably best remembered today for coining the word Dinosauria and for his outspoken opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection...

, who had the facilities of the Royal College of Surgeons
Royal College of Surgeons of England
The Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent professional body and registered charity committed to promoting and advancing the highest standards of surgical care for patients, regulating surgery, including dentistry, in England and Wales...

 to work on the fossil bones collected by Darwin. Owen's surprising results included other gigantic extinct ground sloth
Ground sloth
Ground sloths are a diverse group of extinct sloths, in the mammalian superorder Xenarthra. Their most recent survivors lived in the Antilles, where it has been proposed they may have survived until 1550 CE; however, the youngest AMS radiocarbon date reported is 4190 BP, calibrated to c. 4700 BP...

s as well as the Megatherium
Megatherium
Megatherium was a genus of elephant-sized ground sloths endemic to Central America and South America that lived from the Pliocene through Pleistocene existing approximately...

, a near complete skeleton of the unknown Scelidotherium
Scelidotherium
Scelidotherium is an extinct genus of actively mobile ground sloth of the family Mylodontidae, endemic to South America during the middle Pleistocene epoch. It lived from 780,000—11,000 years ago, existing for approximately ....

and a hippopotamus
Hippopotamus
The hippopotamus , or hippo, from the ancient Greek for "river horse" , is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae After the elephant and rhinoceros, the hippopotamus is the third largest land mammal and the heaviest...

-sized rodent
Rodent
Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must be kept short by gnawing....

-like skull named Toxodon
Toxodon
Toxodon is an extinct mammal of the late Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs about 2.6 million to 16,500 years ago. It was indigenous to South America, and was probably the most common large-hoofed mammal in South America at the time of its existence....

resembling a giant capybara
Capybara
The capybara , also known as capivara in Portuguese, and capibara, chigüire in Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador ronsoco in Peru, chigüiro, and carpincho in Spanish, is the largest living rodent in the world. Its closest relatives are agouti, chinchillas, coyphillas, and guinea pigs...

. The armour fragments were actually from Glyptodon
Glyptodon
Glyptodon was a large, armored mammal of the family Glyptodontidae, a relative of armadillos that lived during the Pleistocene Epoch. It was roughly the same size and weight as a Volkswagen Beetle, though flatter in shape...

, 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 organise work on his collections and rewrite his Journal. He wrote his first paper, showing that the South American landmass was slowly rising, and with Lyell's enthusiastic backing read it to the Geological Society of London
Geological Society of London
The Geological Society of London is a learned society based in the United Kingdom with the aim of "investigating the mineral structure of the Earth"...

 on 4 January 1837. On the same day, he presented his mammal and bird specimens to the Zoological Society
Zoological Society of London
The Zoological Society of London is a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats...

. The ornithologist John Gould
John Gould
John Gould was an English ornithologist and bird artist. The Gould League in Australia was named after him. His identification of the birds now nicknamed "Darwin's finches" played a role in the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection...

 soon announced that the Galapagos birds that Darwin had thought a mixture of blackbirds
Icterid
The Icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most species have black as a predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red. The family is extremely varied in size, shape, behavior and coloration...

, "gros-beaks
Grosbeak
Grosbeak is a form taxon containing several species of seed-eating passerine birds with large beaks. Although they all belong to the superfamily Passeroidea, they are not a natural group but rather a polyphyletic assemblage of distantly related songbirds....

" and finch
Finch
The true finches are passerine birds in the family Fringillidae. They are predominantly seed-eating songbirds. Most are native to the Northern Hemisphere, but one subfamily is endemic to the Neotropics, one to the Hawaiian Islands, and one subfamily – monotypic at genus level – is found...

es, were, in fact, twelve separate species of finches
Darwin's finches
Darwin's finches are a group of 14 or 15 species of passerine birds. It is still not clear which bird family they belong to, but they are not related to the true finches. They were first collected by Charles Darwin on the Galápagos Islands during the second voyage of the Beagle...

. 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
Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage, FRS was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer...

, who described God as a programmer of laws. Darwin stayed with his freethinking
Freethought
Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or other dogmas...

 brother Erasmus
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Erasmus Alvey Darwin , nicknamed Eras or Ras, was the older brother of Charles Darwin, born five years earlier, and also brought up at the family home, The Mount House, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England...

, part of this Whig
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 circle and close friend of writer Harriet Martineau
Harriet Martineau
Harriet Martineau was an English social theorist and Whig writer, often cited as the first female sociologist....

 who promoted Malthusianism
Malthusianism
Malthusianism refers primarily to ideas derived from the political/economic thought of Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, as laid out initially in his 1798 writings, An Essay on the Principle of Population, which describes how unchecked population growth is exponential while the growth of the food...

 underlying the controversial Whig Poor Law reforms
Poor Law Amendment Act 1834
The Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, sometimes abbreviated to PLAA, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed by the Whig government of Lord Melbourne that reformed the country's poverty relief system . It was an Amendment Act that completely replaced earlier legislation based on the...

 to stop welfare from causing overpopulation and more poverty. As a Unitarian
Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

 she welcomed the radical
Radicalism (historical)
The term Radical was used during the late 18th century for proponents of the Radical Movement. It later became a general pejorative term for those favoring or seeking political reforms which include dramatic changes to the social order...

 implications of transmutation of species
Transmutation of species
Transmutation of species was a term used by Jean Baptiste Lamarck in 1809 for his theory that described the altering of one species into another, and the term is often used to describe 19th century evolutionary ideas that preceded Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection...

, promoted by Grant
Robert Edmond Grant
Robert Edmond Grant MD FRCPEd FRS was born in Edinburgh and educated at Edinburgh University as a physician. He became one of the foremost biologists of the early 19th century at Edinburgh and subsequently the first Professor of Comparative Anatomy at University College London...

 and younger surgeons influenced by Geoffroy
Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire was a French naturalist who established the principle of "unity of composition". He was a colleague of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and expanded and defended Lamarck's evolutionary theories...

. Transmutation was anathema to Anglicans defending social order, but reputable scientists openly discussed the subject and there was wide interest in John Herschel
John Herschel
Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet KH, FRS ,was an English mathematician, astronomer, chemist, and experimental photographer/inventor, who in some years also did valuable botanical work...

's letter praising Lyell's approach as a way to find a natural cause
Physical law
A physical law or scientific law is "a theoretical principle deduced from particular facts, applicable to a defined group or class of phenomena, and expressible by the statement that a particular phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions be present." Physical laws are typically conclusions...

 of the origin of new species.

Gould met Darwin and told him that the Galápagos mockingbird
Mockingbird
Mockingbirds are a group of New World passerine birds from the Mimidae family. They are best known for the habit of some species mimicking the songs of other birds and the sounds of insects and amphibians, often loudly and in rapid succession. There are about 17 species in three genera...

s from different islands were separate species, not just varieties, and what Darwin had thought was a "wren
Wren
The wrens are passerine birds in the mainly New World family Troglodytidae. There are approximately 80 species of true wrens in approximately 20 genera....

" was also in the finch group
Warbler Finch
The Warbler Finch is a species of bird, one of Darwin's finches in the tanager family Thraupidae. Sometimes classified in the family Emberizidae, more recent studies have shown it to belong in the tanager family. It is the only member of the genus Certhidea...

. Darwin had not labelled the finches by island, but from the notes of others on the Beagle, including FitzRoy, he allocated species to islands. The two rheas
Rhea (bird)
The rheas are ratites in the genus Rhea, native to South America. There are two existing species: the Greater or American Rhea and the Lesser or Darwin's Rhea. The genus name was given in 1752 by Paul Möhring and adopted as the English common name. Möhring's reason for choosing this name, from the...

 were also distinct species, and on 14 March Darwin announced how their distribution changed going southwards.


By mid-March, 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 Macrauchenia
Macrauchenia
Macrauchenia was a long-necked and long-limbed, three-toed South American ungulate mammal, typifying the order Litopterna. The oldest fossils date back to around 7 million years ago, and M...

which resembled a giant guanaco. His thoughts on lifespan, asexual reproduction
Asexual reproduction
Asexual reproduction is a mode of reproduction by which offspring arise from a single parent, and inherit the genes of that parent only, it is reproduction which does not involve meiosis, ploidy reduction, or fertilization. A more stringent definition is agamogenesis which is reproduction without...

 and sexual reproduction
Sexual reproduction
Sexual reproduction is the creation of a new organism by combining the genetic material of two organisms. There are two main processes during sexual reproduction; they are: meiosis, involving the halving of the number of chromosomes; and fertilization, involving the fusion of two gametes and the...

 developed in his "B" notebook around mid-July on to variation in offspring "to adapt & alter the race to changing world" explaining the Galápagos tortoise
Galápagos tortoise
The Galápagos tortoise or Galápagos giant tortoise is the largest living species of tortoise, reaching weights of over and lengths of over . With life spans in the wild of over 100 years, it is one of the longest-lived vertebrates...

s, mockingbirds and rheas. He sketched branching descent, then a genealogical
Genealogy
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

 branching of a single evolutionary tree
Tree of life (science)
Charles Darwin proposed that phylogeny, the evolutionary relatedness among species through time, was expressible as a metaphor he termed the Tree of Life...

, in which "It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another", discarding Lamarck's
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de la Marck , often known simply as Lamarck, was a French naturalist...

 independent lineages
Lineage (evolution)
An evolutionary lineage is a sequence of species, that form a line of descent, each new species the direct result of speciation from an immediate ancestral species. Lineages are subsets of the evolutionary tree of life. Lineages are often determined by the techniques of molecular systematics.-...

 progressing to higher forms.

Overwork, illness, and marriage



While developing this intensive study of transmutation
Transmutation of species
Transmutation of species was a term used by Jean Baptiste Lamarck in 1809 for his theory that described the altering of one species into another, and the term is often used to describe 19th century evolutionary ideas that preceded Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection...

, 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 £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

1,000 to sponsor this multi-volume Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Under the Command of Captain Fitzroy, R.N., during the Years 1832 to 1836 is a 5-part book published unbound in nineteen numbers as they were ready, between February 1838 and October 1843...

, a sum equivalent to about £ in . He stretched the funding to include his planned books on geology, and agreed unrealistic dates with the publisher. As the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 began, Darwin pressed on with writing his Journal, and in August 1837 began correcting printer's proofs
Galley proof
In printing and publishing, proofs are the preliminary versions of publications meant for review by authors, editors, and proofreaders, often with extra wide margins. Galley proofs may be uncut and unbound, or in some cases electronic...

.

Darwin's health suffered from the pressure. 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
Maer Hall
The large 17th century stone built country house and estate of Maer Hall dominates the village of Maer, Staffordshire. Its location in the district of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England, is attractively rural, but fairly close to the pottery manufacturing area around Stoke-on-Trent which...

, Staffordshire, but found them too eager for tales of his travels to give him much rest. His charming, intelligent, and cultured cousin Emma Wedgwood
Emma Darwin
Emma Darwin was the wife and first cousin of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, scientist and author of On the Origin of Species...

, nine months older than Darwin, was nursing his invalid aunt. His uncle Jos
Josiah Wedgwood II
Josiah Wedgwood II , the son of the English potter Josiah Wedgwood, continued his father's firm and was Member of Parliament for Stoke-upon-Trent from 1832 to 1835...

 pointed out an area of ground where cinders had disappeared under loam
Loam
Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration . Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus than sandy soils, have better infiltration and drainage than silty soils, and are easier to till than clay soils...

 and suggested that this might have been the work of earthworm
Earthworm
Earthworm is the common name for the largest members of Oligochaeta in the phylum Annelida. In classical systems they were placed in the order Opisthopora, on the basis of the male pores opening posterior to the female pores, even though the internal male segments are anterior to the female...

s, inspiring "a new & important theory" on their role in soil formation
Pedogenesis
Pedogenesis is the science and study of the processes that lead to the formation of soil ' and first explored by the Russian geologist Vasily Dokuchaev , the so called grandfather of soil science, who determined that soil formed over time as a consequence of...

 which Darwin presented at the Geological Society on 1 November.

William Whewell
William Whewell
William Whewell was an English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.-Life and career:Whewell was born in Lancaster...

 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 such as farmers and pigeon fanciers
Pigeon keeping
Pigeon keeping is the art and science of breeding domestic pigeons. People have practiced pigeon keeping for about 10,000 years in almost every part of the world...

. 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
Orangutan
Orangutans are the only exclusively Asian genus of extant great ape. The largest living arboreal animals, they have proportionally longer arms than the other, more terrestrial, great apes. They are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also making sleeping...

 in the zoo on 28 March 1838 noted its child-like 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 boil
Boil
A boil, also called a furuncle, is a deep folliculitis, infection of the hair follicle. It is always caused by infection by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, resulting in a painful swollen area on the skin caused by an accumulation of pus and dead tissue...

s, palpitations, trembling and other symptoms, particularly during times of stress such as attending meetings or making social visits. The cause of Darwin's illness
Charles Darwin's illness
For much of his adult life, Charles Darwin's health was repeatedly compromised by an uncommon combination of symptoms, leaving him severely debilitated for long periods of time...

 remained unknown, and attempts at treatment had little success.

On 23 June he took a break and went "geologising" in Scotland. He visited Glen Roy
Glen Roy
Glen Roy in the Lochaber area of the Highlands of Scotland is a National Nature Reserve and is noted for the geological puzzle of the three roads ....

 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
Raised beach
A raised beach, marine terrace, or perched coastline is an emergent coastal landform. Raised beaches and marine terraces are beaches or wave-cut platforms raised above the shore line by a relative fall in the sea level ....

es, but then had to accept that they were shorelines of a proglacial lake
Proglacial lake
In geology, a proglacial lake is a lake formed either by the damming action of a moraine or ice dam during the retreat of a melting glacier, or by meltwater trapped against an ice sheet due to isostatic depression of the crust around the ice...

.


Fully recuperated, he returned to Shrewsbury in July. Used to jotting down daily notes on animal breeding, he scrawled rambling thoughts about career and prospects on two scraps of paper, one with columns headed "Marry" and "Not Marry". Advantages 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, he discussed it with his father, then went to visit Emma on 29 July. He did not get around to proposing, but against his father's advice he mentioned his ideas on transmutation.

Continuing his research in London, Darwin's wide reading now included the sixth edition of Malthus's
Thomas Malthus
The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus FRS was an English scholar, influential in political economy and demography. Malthus popularized the economic theory of rent....

 An Essay on the Principle of Population
An Essay on the Principle of Population
The book An Essay on the Principle of Population was first published anonymously in 1798 through J. Johnson . The author was soon identified as The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus. While it was not the first book on population, it has been acknowledged as the most influential work of its era...


Malthus asserted that unless human population is kept in check, it increases in a geometric progression
Geometric progression
In mathematics, a geometric progression, also known as a geometric sequence, is a sequence of numbers where each term after the first is found by multiplying the previous one by a fixed non-zero number called the common ratio. For example, the sequence 2, 6, 18, 54, ... is a geometric progression...

 and soon exceeds food supply in what is known as a Malthusian catastrophe
Malthusian catastrophe
A Malthusian catastrophe was originally foreseen to be a forced return to subsistence-level conditions once population growth had outpaced agricultural production...

. Darwin was well prepared to see at once that this also applied to de Candolle's
A. P. de Candolle
Augustin Pyramus de Candolle also spelled Augustin Pyrame de Candolle was a Swiss botanist. René Louiche Desfontaines launched Candolle's botanical career by recommending him at an herbarium...

 "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. This would result in the formation of new species. On 28 September 1838 he noted this insight, describing it as a kind of wedging, forcing adapted structures into gaps in the economy of nature as weaker structures were thrust out. By mid December he saw a similarity between farmers picking the best breeding stock 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".

On 11 November, he returned to 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
Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

 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
Gower Street (London)
Gower Street is a street in Bloomsbury, Central London, England, running between Euston Road to the north and Montague Place to the south.North Gower Street is a separate street running north of the Euston Road...

, then moved his "museum" in over Christmas. On 24 January 1839 Darwin was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

.

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.

Preparing the theory of natural selection for publication


Darwin now had the framework of his theory of natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

 "by which to work", as his "prime hobby". His research included animal husbandry
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.- History :Animal husbandry has been practiced for thousands of years, since the first domestication of animals....

 and extensive experiments with plants, 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.

When FitzRoy's Narrative was published in May 1839, Darwin's Journal and Remarks
The Voyage of the Beagle
The Voyage of the Beagle is a title commonly given to the book written by Charles Darwin and published in 1839 as his Journal and Remarks, bringing him considerable fame and respect...

was such a success as the third volume that later that year it was published on its own. Early in 1842, Darwin wrote about his ideas to Charles Lyell
Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation...

, who noted that his ally "denies seeing a beginning to each crop of species".

Darwin's book The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs
The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs
The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs, Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. Fitzroy, R.N. during the years 1832 to 1836, was published in 1842 as Charles Darwin's first monograph, and set out his theory of the formation of coral reefs...

on his theory of atoll
Atoll
An atoll is a coral island that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.- Usage :The word atoll comes from the Dhivehi word atholhu OED...

 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
Down House
Down House is the former home of the English naturalist Charles Darwin and his family. It was in this house and garden that Darwin worked on his theories of evolution by natural selection which he had conceived in London before moving to Downe....

 in September. On 11 January 1844 Darwin mentioned his theorising to the botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker OM, GCSI, CB, MD, FRS was one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Hooker was a founder of geographical botany, and Charles Darwin's closest friend...

, 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
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation is a unique work of speculative natural history published anonymously in England in 1844. It brought together various ideas of stellar evolution with the progressive transmutation of species in an accessible narrative which tied together numerous...

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
Marine invertebrates are animals that inhabit a marine environment and are invertebrates, lacking a vertebral column. In order to protect themselves, they may have evolved a shell or a hard exoskeleton, but this is not always the case....

, dating back to his student days with Grant
Robert Edmond Grant
Robert Edmond Grant MD FRCPEd FRS was born in Edinburgh and educated at Edinburgh University as a physician. He became one of the foremost biologists of the early 19th century at Edinburgh and subsequently the first Professor of Comparative Anatomy at University College London...

, by dissecting and classifying the barnacle
Barnacle
A barnacle is a type of arthropod belonging to infraclass Cirripedia in the subphylum Crustacea, and is hence related to crabs and lobsters. Barnacles are exclusively marine, and tend to live in shallow and tidal waters, typically in erosive settings. They are sessile suspension feeders, and have...

s 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.

In an attempt to improve his chronic ill health, Darwin went in 1849 to Dr. James Gully
James Manby Gully
Dr James Manby Gully , was a Victorian medical doctor, well known for practising hydrotherapy, or the "water cure". Along with his partner James Wilson, he founded a very successful "hydropathy" clinic in Malvern, Worcestershire, which had many notable Victorians, including such figures as Charles...

's Malvern
Great Malvern
Great Malvern is an area of Malvern, Worcestershire, England. It is the historical centre of the town, and the location of the headquarters buildings of the of Malvern Town Council, the governing body of the Malvern civil parish, and Malvern Hills District council of the county of...

 spa and was surprised to find some benefit from hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy, formerly called hydropathy, involves the use of water for pain-relief and treating illness. The term hydrotherapy itself is synonymous with the term water cure as it was originally marketed by practitioners and promoters in the 19th century...

. Then in 1851 his treasured daughter Annie
Anne Darwin
Anne Elizabeth "Annie" Darwin was the second child and eldest daughter of Charles and Emma Darwin. According to biographers, she was a delightful child who brought much happiness to her parents. Eminent Darwin scholar E...

 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 "homologies
Homology (biology)
Homology forms the basis of organization for comparative biology. In 1843, Richard Owen defined homology as "the same organ in different animals under every variety of form and function". Organs as different as a bat's wing, a seal's flipper, a cat's paw and a human hand have a common underlying...

" showing that slightly changed body parts served different functions to meet new conditions, and in some genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 he found minute males parasitic
Parasitism
Parasitism is a type of symbiotic relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host. Traditionally parasite referred to organisms with lifestages that needed more than one host . These are now called macroparasites...

 on hermaphrodite
Hermaphrodite
In biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism that has reproductive organs normally associated with both male and female sexes.Many taxonomic groups of animals do not have separate sexes. In these groups, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which both...

s, showing an intermediate stage
Androdioecy
Androdioecy is a reproductive system found in species composed of a male population and a distinct hermaphrodite population. Such species are rare....

 in evolution of distinct sexes
Gonochorism
In biology, gonochorism or unisexualism describes sexually reproducing species in which individuals have just one of at least two distinct sexes. The term is most often used with animals . The sex of an individual may change during its lifetime, this can for example be found in parrotfish...

. In 1853 it earned him the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

's Royal Medal, and it made his reputation as a biologist
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

. He resumed work on his theory of species in 1854, 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 seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s could survive travel across seawater to spread species across oceans. Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker OM, GCSI, CB, MD, FRS was one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Hooker was a founder of geographical botany, and Charles Darwin's closest friend...

 increasingly doubted the traditional view that species were fixed, but their young friend Thomas Henry Huxley was firmly against evolution. Lyell
Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation...

 was intrigued by Darwin's speculations without realising their extent. When he read a paper by Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace, OM, FRS was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist...

 on the Introduction of species, he saw similarities with Darwin's thoughts and urged him to publish to establish precedence. Though Darwin saw no threat, he began work on 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. He continued his researches, obtaining information
Correspondence of Charles Darwin
The British naturalist Charles Darwin had correspondence with numerous other luminaries of his age and members of his family. These have provided many insights about the nineteenth century, from scientific exploration and travel to religious debate and discussion...

 and specimens from naturalists worldwide including Wallace who was working in Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

. The American botanist Asa Gray
Asa Gray
-References:*Asa Gray. Dictionary of American Biography. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928–1936.*Asa Gray. Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. 17 Vols. Gale Research, 1998.*Asa Gray. Plant Sciences. 4 vols. Macmillan Reference USA, 2001....

 showed similar interests, and on 5 September 1857 Darwin sent Gray a detailed outline of his ideas including an abstract of Natural Selection. In December, Darwin received a letter from Wallace asking if the book would examine human origins
Human evolution
Human evolution refers to the evolutionary history of the genus Homo, including the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species and as a unique category of hominids and mammals...

. 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 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
Scarlet fever
Scarlet fever is a disease caused by exotoxin released by Streptococcus pyogenes. Once a major cause of death, it is now effectively treated with antibiotics...

, and he put matters in the hands of Lyell and Hooker. After some discussion, they decided on a joint presentation at the Linnean Society
Linnean Society of London
The Linnean Society of London is the world's premier society for the study and dissemination of taxonomy and natural history. It publishes a zoological journal, as well as botanical and biological journals...

 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; however, Darwin's baby son died of the scarlet fever 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
Samuel Haughton
Samuel Haughton was an Irish scientific writer.-Biography:He was born in Carlow, the son of James 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
John Murray (publisher)
John Murray is an English publisher, renowned for the authors it has published in its history, including Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Byron, Charles Lyell, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Herman Melville, and Charles Darwin...

.

On the Origin of Species 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. His only allusion to human evolution was the understatement that "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history". His theory is simply stated in the introduction:
He put a strong case for common descent
Common descent
In evolutionary biology, a group of organisms share common descent if they have a common ancestor. There is strong quantitative support for the theory that all living organisms on Earth are descended from a common ancestor....

, but avoided the then controversial term "evolution
Evolutionism
Evolutionism refers to the biological concept of evolution, specifically to a widely held 19th century belief that organisms are intrinsically bound to increase in complexity. The belief was extended to include cultural evolution and social evolution...

", and at the end of the book concluded that:

Responses to publication



The book aroused international interest, with less controversy than had greeted the popular Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation is a unique work of speculative natural history published anonymously in England in 1844. It brought together various ideas of stellar evolution with the progressive transmutation of species in an accessible narrative which tied together numerous...

. 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 corresponded on it
Correspondence of Charles Darwin
The British naturalist Charles Darwin had correspondence with numerous other luminaries of his age and members of his family. These have provided many insights about the nineteenth century, from scientific exploration and travel to religious debate and discussion...

 with colleagues worldwide. Darwin had only said "Light will be thrown on the origin of man", but the first review claimed it made a creed of the "men from monkeys" idea from Vestiges. Amongst early favourable responses, Huxley's reviews swiped at Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Sir Richard Owen, FRS KCB was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.Owen is probably best remembered today for coining the word Dinosauria and for his outspoken opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection...

, 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.

The Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

's response was mixed. Darwin's old Cambridge tutors Sedgwick
Adam Sedgwick
Adam Sedgwick was one of the founders of modern geology. He proposed the Devonian period of the geological timescale...

 and Henslow
John Stevens Henslow
John Stevens Henslow was an English clergyman, botanist and geologist. He is best remembered as friend and mentor to his pupil Charles Darwin.- Early life :...

 dismissed the ideas, but liberal clergymen
Liberal Christianity
Liberal Christianity, sometimes called liberal theology, is an umbrella term covering diverse, philosophically and biblically informed religious movements and ideas within Christianity from the late 18th century and onward...

 interpreted natural selection as an instrument of God's design, with the cleric Charles Kingsley
Charles Kingsley
Charles Kingsley was an English priest of the Church of England, university professor, historian and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and northeast Hampshire.-Life and character:...

 seeing it as "just as noble a conception of Deity". In 1860, the publication of Essays and Reviews
Essays and Reviews
Essays and Reviews, published in March 1860, is a broad-church volume of seven essays on Christianity. The topics covered the biblical research of the German critics, the evidence for Christianity, religious thought in England, and the cosmology of Genesis....

by seven liberal Anglican theologians diverted clerical
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 attention from Darwin, with its ideas including higher criticism attacked by church authorities as heresy
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

. In it, Baden Powell
Baden Powell (mathematician)
Baden Powell, MA, FRS, FRGS was an English mathematician and Church of England priest. He was also prominent as a liberal theologian who put forward advanced ideas about evolution. He held the Savilian Chair of Geometry at the University of Oxford from 1827 to 1860...

 argued that miracle
Miracle
A miracle often denotes an event attributed to divine intervention. Alternatively, it may be an event attributed to a miracle worker, saint, or religious leader. A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature. Others suggest that a god may work with the laws...

s broke God's laws, so belief in them was atheistic
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

, and praised "Mr Darwin's masterly volume [supporting] the grand principle of the self-evolving powers of nature". Asa Gray
Asa Gray
-References:*Asa Gray. Dictionary of American Biography. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928–1936.*Asa Gray. Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. 17 Vols. Gale Research, 1998.*Asa Gray. Plant Sciences. 4 vols. Macmillan Reference USA, 2001....

 discussed teleology
Teleology
A teleology is any philosophical account which holds that final causes exist in nature, meaning that design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also in the rest of nature. The word comes from the Greek τέλος, telos; root: τελε-, "end, purpose...

 with Darwin, who imported and distributed Gray's pamphlet on theistic evolution
Theistic evolution
Theistic evolution or evolutionary creation is a concept that asserts that classical religious teachings about God are compatible with the modern scientific understanding about biological evolution...

, Natural Selection is not inconsistent with Natural Theology
Natural theology
Natural theology is a branch of theology based on reason and ordinary experience. Thus it is distinguished from revealed theology which is based on scripture and religious experiences of various kinds; and also from transcendental theology, theology from a priori reasoning.Marcus Terentius Varro ...

. The most famous confrontation was at the public 1860 Oxford evolution debate
1860 Oxford evolution debate
The 1860 Oxford evolution debate took place at the Oxford University Museum on 30 June 1860, seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Several prominent British scientists and philosophers participated, including Thomas Henry Huxley, Bishop Samuel...

 during a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science
British Association for the Advancement of Science
frame|right|"The BA" logoThe British Association for the Advancement of Science or the British Science Association, formerly known as the BA, is a learned society with the object of promoting science, directing general attention to scientific matters, and facilitating interaction between...

, where the Bishop of Oxford
Bishop of Oxford
The Bishop of Oxford is the diocesan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Oxford in the Province of Canterbury; his seat is at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford...

 Samuel Wilberforce
Samuel Wilberforce
Samuel Wilberforce was an English bishop in the Church of England, third son of William Wilberforce. Known as "Soapy Sam", Wilberforce was one of the greatest public speakers of his time and place...

, though not opposed to transmutation of species
Transmutation of species
Transmutation of species was a term used by Jean Baptiste Lamarck in 1809 for his theory that described the altering of one species into another, and the term is often used to describe 19th century evolutionary ideas that preceded Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection...

, argued against Darwin's explanation and human descent from apes. Joseph Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker OM, GCSI, CB, MD, FRS was one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Hooker was a founder of geographical botany, and Charles Darwin's closest friend...

 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 biological order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 from apes was shown to be false by Huxley in a long running dispute parodied by Kingsley as the "Great Hippocampus Question
Great Hippocampus Question
The Great Hippocampus Question was a 19th century scientific controversy about the anatomy of apes and human uniqueness. The dispute between Thomas Henry Huxley and Richard Owen became central to the scientific debate on human evolution that followed Charles Darwin's publication of On the Origin of...

", and discredited Owen.

Darwinism
Darwinism
Darwinism is a set of movements and concepts related to ideas of transmutation of species or of evolution, including some ideas with no connection to the work of Charles Darwin....

 became a movement covering a wide range of evolutionary ideas. In 1863 Lyell's
Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation...

 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
Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature
Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature is an 1863 book by Thomas Henry Huxley, in which he gives evidence for the evolution of man and apes from a common ancestor. It was the first book devoted to the topic of human evolution, and discussed much of the anatomical and other evidence...

showed that anatomically, humans are apes, then The Naturalist on the River Amazons
The Naturalist on the River Amazons
The Naturalist on the River Amazons, subtitled A Record of the Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian Life, and Aspects of Nature under the Equator, during Eleven Years of Travel, is an 1863 book by the British naturalist Henry Walter Bates about his expedition to the...

by Henry Walter Bates
Henry Walter Bates
Henry Walter Bates FRS FLS FGS was an English naturalist and explorer who gave the first scientific account of mimicry in animals. He was most famous for his expedition to the Amazon with Alfred Russel Wallace in 1848. Wallace returned in 1852, but lost his collection in a shipwreck...

 provided empirical evidence of natural selection. Lobbying brought Darwin Britain's highest scientific honour, the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

's Copley Medal
Copley Medal
The Copley Medal is an award given by the Royal Society of London for "outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science, and alternates between the physical sciences and the biological sciences"...

, awarded on 3 November 1864. That day, Huxley held the first meeting of what became the influential X Club
X Club
The X Club was a dining club of nine men who supported the theories of natural selection and academic liberalism in late 19th-century England. Thomas Henry Huxley was the initiator: he called the first meeting for November 3, 1864...

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
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

. 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
Ape
Apes are Old World anthropoid mammals, more specifically a clade of tailless catarrhine primates, belonging to the biological superfamily Hominoidea. The apes are native to Africa and South-east Asia, although in relatively recent times humans have spread all over the world...

 helped to identify all forms of evolutionism
Evolutionism
Evolutionism refers to the biological concept of evolution, specifically to a widely held 19th century belief that organisms are intrinsically bound to increase in complexity. The belief was extended to include cultural evolution and social evolution...

 with Darwinism.

Descent of Man, sexual selection, and botany



More detailed articles cover Darwin's life from Orchids to Variation
Darwin from Orchids to Variation
The life and work of Charles Darwin from the publication of Orchids to the publication of Variation during the years between 1860 and 1868 continued with Darwin carrying out his research and experimentation on evolution as he worked sporadically on the first section of his "big book", carrying out...

, from Descent of Man to Emotions
Darwin from Descent of Man to Emotions
The life and work of Darwin from Descent of Man to Emotions during the period from 1868 to 1872 continued with aspects of Charles Darwin's intended "Big Book" on evolution through natural selection...

 and from Insectivorous Plants to Worms
Darwin from Insectivorous plants to Worms
The life and work of Darwin from Insectivorous Plants to Worms featured a continuation from Charles Darwin's investigations into insectivorous plants and climbing plants which he had begun before his work on Descent of Man and Emotions. Worries about family illnesses contributed to his interest...



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
Abstract (summary)
An abstract is a brief summary of a research article, thesis, review, conference proceeding or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline, and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper's purpose. When used, an abstract always appears at the beginning of a...

 of his theory, he pressed on with experiments, research, and writing of his "big book". He covered human descent
Human evolution
Human evolution refers to the evolutionary history of the genus Homo, including the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species and as a unique category of hominids and mammals...

 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
Pollination
Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilisation and sexual reproduction. Pollen grains transport the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself...

 led in 1861 to novel studies of wild orchids, showing adaptation of their flowers to attract specific moths
Pollination syndrome
Pollination syndromes are suites of flower traits that have evolved in response to natural selection imposed by different pollen vectors, which can be abiotic or biotic, such as birds, bees, flies, and so forth. These traits include flower shape, size, colour, odour, reward type and amount, nectar...

 to each species and ensure cross fertilisation
Heterosis
Heterosis, or hybrid vigor, or outbreeding enhancement, is the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a hybrid offspring. The adjective derived from heterosis is heterotic....

. In 1862 Fertilisation of Orchids
Fertilisation of Orchids
Fertilisation of Orchids is a book by Charles Darwin published on 15 May 1862 under the full explanatory title On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing...

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 climbing plants
Vine
A vine in the narrowest sense is the grapevine , but more generally it can refer to any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent, that is to say climbing, stems or runners...

. Admiring visitors included Ernst Haeckel
Ernst Haeckel
The "European War" became known as "The Great War", and it was not until 1920, in the book "The First World War 1914-1918" by Charles à Court Repington, that the term "First World War" was used as the official name for the conflict.-Research:...

, a zealous proponent of Darwinismus incorporating Lamarckism
Lamarckism
Lamarckism is the idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring . It is named after the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck , who incorporated the action of soft inheritance into his evolutionary theories...

 and Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

's idealism. Wallace remained supportive, though he increasingly turned to Spiritualism.

The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication
The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication
The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication is a book written by Charles Darwin that was first published in January 1868.A large proportion of the book contains detailed information on the domestication of animals and plants but it also contains in Chapter XXVII a description of...

of 1868 was the first part of Darwin's planned "big book", and included his unsuccessful hypothesis of pangenesis
Pangenesis
Pangenesis was Charles Darwin's hypothetical mechanism for heredity. He presented this 'provisional hypothesis' in his 1868 work The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication and felt that it brought 'together a multitude of facts which are at present left disconnected by any efficient...

 attempting to explain heredity
Heredity
Heredity is the passing of traits to offspring . This is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to the characteristics of its parent cell or organism. Through heredity, variations exhibited by individuals can accumulate and cause some species to evolve...

. 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.


Lyell
Charles Lyell
Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation...

 had already popularised human prehistory, and Huxley had shown that anatomically humans are apes. With The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex is a book on evolutionary theory by English naturalist Charles Darwin, first published in 1871. It was Darwin's second great book on evolutionary theory, following his 1859 work, On The Origin of Species. In The Descent of Man, Darwin applies...

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
Sexual selection, a concept introduced by Charles Darwin in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, is a significant element of his theory of natural selection...

 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 racial characteristics, 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
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals is a book by Charles Darwin, published in 1872, concerning genetically determined aspects of behaviour. It was published thirteen years after On The Origin of Species and is, along with his 1871 book The Descent of Man, Darwin's main consideration...

, one of the first books to feature printed photographs, which discussed the evolution of human psychology
Evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional...

 and its continuity with the behaviour of animals
Ethology
Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a sub-topic of zoology....

. 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 Insectivorous Plants
Insectivorous Plants (book)
Insectivorous Plants is a book by British naturalist and evolutionary theory pioneer Charles Darwin, first published on 2 July 1875 in London....

, The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom
The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom
The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom is a book on evolution in plants by Charles Darwin, first published in 1876. In this book Darwin examines the effects of cross and self fertilisation of plants and provides experimental evidence for a hypothesis stated in his...

, different forms of flowers on plants of the same species, and The Power of Movement in Plants
The Power of Movement in Plants
The Power of Movement in Plants is a book by Charles Darwin on phototropism and other types of movement in plants. This book continues his work in producing evidence for his theory of natural selection...

. In his last book he returned to The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms
The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms
The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits is an 1881 book by Charles Darwin on earthworms. It was his last scientific book, and was published shortly before his death...

.

Death and legacy



He died at Down House
Down House
Down House is the former home of the English naturalist Charles Darwin and his family. It was in this house and garden that Darwin worked on his theories of evolution by natural selection which he had conceived in London before moving to Downe....

 on 19 April 1882. He had expected to be buried in St Mary's churchyard at Downe
Downe
Downe is a village in the London Borough of Bromley in London, UK.Downe is south west of Orpington and south east of Charing Cross. Downe lies in a wooded valley, and much of the centre of the village is unchanged; the former village school now acts as the village hall.-Darwin:Charles Darwin...

, but at the request of Darwin's colleagues, after public and parliamentary petitioning, William Spottiswoode
William Spottiswoode
William Spottiswoode FRS was an English mathematician and physicist. He was President of the Royal Society from 1878 to 1883.-Early life:...

 (President of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

) arranged for Darwin to be honoured by a major ceremonial funeral and burial in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, close to John Herschel
John Herschel
Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet KH, FRS ,was an English mathematician, astronomer, chemist, and experimental photographer/inventor, who in some years also did valuable botanical work...

 and Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

.

Darwin had convinced most scientists that evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 as descent with modification
Common descent
In evolutionary biology, a group of organisms share common descent if they have a common ancestor. There is strong quantitative support for the theory that all living organisms on Earth are descended from a common ancestor....

 was correct, and he was regarded as a great scientist who had revolutionised ideas. Though few agreed with his view that "natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification", he was honoured in June 1909 by more than 400 officials and scientists from across the world who met in Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

 to commemorate his centenary
Darwin Day
Darwin Day is a recently instituted celebration intended to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on February 12, 1809. The day is used to highlight Darwin's contribution to science and to promote science in general.-History:...

 and the fiftieth anniversary of On the Origin of Species. During this period, which has been called "the eclipse of Darwinism", scientists proposed various alternative evolutionary mechanisms which eventually proved untenable. The development of the modern evolutionary synthesis
Modern evolutionary synthesis
The modern evolutionary synthesis is a union of ideas from several biological specialties which provides a widely accepted account of evolution...

 from the 1930s to the 1950s, incorporating natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

 with population genetics
Population genetics
Population genetics is the study of allele frequency distribution and change under the influence of the four main evolutionary processes: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation and gene flow. It also takes into account the factors of recombination, population subdivision and population...

 and Mendelian
Gregor Mendel
Gregor Johann Mendel was an Austrian scientist and Augustinian friar who gained posthumous fame as the founder of the new science of genetics. Mendel demonstrated that the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants follows particular patterns, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance...

 genetics
Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

, brought broad scientific consensus that natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. This synthesis set the frame of reference for modern debates and refinements of the theory.

Children

William Erasmus Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin was the first-born son of Charles and Emma Darwin, and the subject of psychological studies by his father. He was educated at Rugby School and Christ's College Cambridge, and later became a banker at Grant and Maddison's Union Banking Company in Southampton. In 1877 he...

(27 December 1839–1914)
Anne Elizabeth Darwin
Anne Darwin
Anne Elizabeth "Annie" Darwin was the second child and eldest daughter of Charles and Emma Darwin. According to biographers, she was a delightful child who brought much happiness to her parents. Eminent Darwin scholar E...

(2 March 1841 – 23 April 1851)
Mary Eleanor Darwin (23 September 1842 – 16 October 1842)
Henrietta Emma "Etty" Darwin
Etty Darwin
Henrietta Emma "Etty" Darwin, was a daughter of Charles Darwin and his wife Emma Wedgwood.Etty was born in Down House, Downe in 1843. She was Darwin's third daughter and the eldest daughter to reach adulthood after the eldest Annie died aged 10, and second daughter Mary died before becoming a...

(25 September 1843–1929)
George Howard Darwin
George Darwin
Sir George Howard Darwin, FRS was an English astronomer and mathematician.-Biography:Darwin was born at Down House, Kent, the second son and fifth child of Charles and Emma Darwin...

(9 July 1845 – 7 December 1912)
Elizabeth "Bessy" Darwin (8 July 1847–1926)
Francis Darwin
Francis Darwin
Sir Francis "Frank" Darwin, FRS , a son of the British naturalist and scientist Charles Darwin, followed his father into botany.-Biography:Francis Darwin was born in Down House, Downe, Kent in 1848...

(16 August 1848 – 19 September 1925)
Leonard Darwin
Leonard Darwin
Major Leonard Darwin , a son of the English naturalist Charles Darwin, was variously a soldier, politician, economist, eugenicist and mentor of the statistician and evolutionary biologist Ronald Fisher.- Biography :...

(15 January 1850 – 26 March 1943)
Horace Darwin
Horace Darwin
Sir Horace Darwin, KBE, FRS , a son of the English naturalist Charles Darwin, was a civil engineer.Darwin was born in Down House in 1851, the fifth son and ninth child of the British naturalist Charles Darwin and his wife Emma, the youngest of their seven children that survived to adulthood.He was...

(13 May 1851 – 29 September 1928)
Charles Waring Darwin
Charles Waring Darwin
Charles Waring Darwin, who died when he was 18 months old , was the last of the children of Charles Darwin and Emma Darwin, their tenth child and sixth son. He was born and died at the family home of Down House in Kent....

(6 December 1856 – 28 June 1858)

The Darwins had ten children: two died in infancy, and Annie's
Anne Darwin
Anne Elizabeth "Annie" Darwin was the second child and eldest daughter of Charles and Emma Darwin. According to biographers, she was a delightful child who brought much happiness to her parents. Eminent Darwin scholar E...

 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
Inbreeding
Inbreeding is the reproduction from the mating of two genetically related parents. Inbreeding results in increased homozygosity, which can increase the chances of offspring being affected by recessive or deleterious traits. This generally leads to a decreased fitness of a population, which is...

 due to the close family ties he shared with his wife and cousin
Cousin marriage
Cousin marriage is marriage between two cousins. In various jurisdictions and cultures, such marriages range from being considered ideal and actively encouraged, to being uncommon but still legal, to being seen as incest and legally prohibited....

, Emma Wedgwood
Emma Darwin
Emma Darwin was the wife and first cousin of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, scientist and author of On the Origin of Species...

. He examined this topic in his writings, contrasting it with the advantages of crossing amongst many organisms. Despite his fears, most of the surviving children and many of their descendants went on to have distinguished careers (see Darwin-Wedgwood family).

Of his surviving children, George
George Darwin
Sir George Howard Darwin, FRS was an English astronomer and mathematician.-Biography:Darwin was born at Down House, Kent, the second son and fifth child of Charles and Emma Darwin...

, Francis
Francis Darwin
Sir Francis "Frank" Darwin, FRS , a son of the British naturalist and scientist Charles Darwin, followed his father into botany.-Biography:Francis Darwin was born in Down House, Downe, Kent in 1848...

 and Horace
Horace Darwin
Sir Horace Darwin, KBE, FRS , a son of the English naturalist Charles Darwin, was a civil engineer.Darwin was born in Down House in 1851, the fifth son and ninth child of the British naturalist Charles Darwin and his wife Emma, the youngest of their seven children that survived to adulthood.He was...

 became Fellows of the Royal Society, distinguished as astronomer
Astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

, botanist and civil engineer
Civil engineer
A civil engineer is a person who practices civil engineering; the application of planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating infrastructures while protecting the public and environmental health, as well as improving existing infrastructures that have been neglected.Originally, a...

, respectively. His son Leonard
Leonard Darwin
Major Leonard Darwin , a son of the English naturalist Charles Darwin, was variously a soldier, politician, economist, eugenicist and mentor of the statistician and evolutionary biologist Ronald Fisher.- Biography :...

 went on to be a soldier, politician, economist, eugenicist
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

 and mentor of the statistician and evolutionary biologist Ronald Fisher
Ronald Fisher
Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher FRS was an English statistician, evolutionary biologist, eugenicist and geneticist. Among other things, Fisher is well known for his contributions to statistics by creating Fisher's exact test and Fisher's equation...

.

Religious views




Darwin's family tradition was nonconformist
Nonconformism
Nonconformity is the refusal to "conform" to, or follow, the governance and usages of the Church of England by the Protestant Christians of England and Wales.- Origins and use:...

 Unitarianism
Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

, while his father and grandfather were freethinkers
Freethought
Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or other dogmas...

, and his baptism
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 and boarding school
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

 were Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. When going to Cambridge to become an Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

 clergyman, he did not doubt the literal truth
Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

 of the Bible. He learned John Herschel
John Herschel
Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet KH, FRS ,was an English mathematician, astronomer, chemist, and experimental photographer/inventor, who in some years also did valuable botanical work...

's science which, like William Paley
William Paley
William Paley was a British Christian apologist, philosopher, and utilitarian. He is best known for his exposition of the teleological argument for the existence of God in his work Natural Theology, which made use of the watchmaker analogy .-Life:Paley was Born in Peterborough, England, and was...

's natural theology
Natural theology
Natural theology is a branch of theology based on reason and ordinary experience. Thus it is distinguished from revealed theology which is based on scripture and religious experiences of various kinds; and also from transcendental theology, theology from a priori reasoning.Marcus Terentius Varro ...

, sought explanations in laws of nature rather than miracles and saw adaptation
Adaptation
An adaptation in biology is a trait with a current functional role in the life history of an organism that is maintained and evolved by means of natural selection. An adaptation refers to both the current state of being adapted and to the dynamic evolutionary process that leads to the adaptation....

 of species as evidence of design
Teleological argument
A teleological or design argument is an a posteriori argument for the existence of God based on apparent design and purpose in the universe. The argument is based on an interpretation of teleology wherein purpose and intelligent design appear to exist in nature beyond the scope of any such human...

. On board the Beagle, Darwin was quite orthodox
Orthodoxy
The word orthodox, from Greek orthos + doxa , is generally used to mean the adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion...

 and would quote the Bible as an authority on morality
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

. He looked for "centres of creation" to explain distribution, and related the antlion
Antlion
Antlions are a group of insects in the family Myrmeleontidae . The most well-known genus is Myrmeleo. There are about 2,000 species...

 found near kangaroo
Kangaroo
A kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae . In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, especially those of the genus Macropus, Red Kangaroo, Antilopine Kangaroo, Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Western Grey Kangaroo. Kangaroos are endemic to the country...

s to distinct "periods of Creation".

By his return he was 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 transmutation of species
Transmutation of species
Transmutation of species was a term used by Jean Baptiste Lamarck in 1809 for his theory that described the altering of one species into another, and the term is often used to describe 19th century evolutionary ideas that preceded Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection...

, he gave much thought to religion and openly discussed this with Emma
Emma Darwin
Emma Darwin was the wife and first cousin of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, scientist and author of On the Origin of Species...

, whose beliefs also came from intensive study and questioning. The theodicy
Theodicy
Theodicy is a theological and philosophical study which attempts to prove God's intrinsic or foundational nature of omnibenevolence , omniscience , and omnipotence . Theodicy is usually concerned with the God of the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, due to the relevant...

 of Paley and Thomas Malthus
Thomas Malthus
The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus FRS was an English scholar, influential in political economy and demography. Malthus popularized the economic theory of rent....

 vindicated evils such as starvation as a result of a benevolent creator's laws which had an overall good effect. To Darwin, natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

 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
Ichneumon wasp
The Ichneumonoidea are insects classified in the hymenopteran suborder Apocrita. The superfamily is made up of the ichneumon wasps and the braconids...

 paralysing caterpillar
Caterpillar
Caterpillars are the larval form of members of the order Lepidoptera . They are mostly herbivorous in food habit, although some species are insectivorous. Caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered to be pests in agriculture...

s as live food for its eggs. He still viewed organisms as perfectly adapted, and On the Origin of Species reflects theological views. Though he thought of religion as a tribal
Tribe
A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...

 survival strategy, Darwin still believed that God was the ultimate lawgiver.

Darwin remained close friends with the vicar
Perpetual curate
A Perpetual Curate was a clergyman of the Church of England officiating as parish priest in a small or sparsely peopled parish or districtAs noted below the term perpetual was not to be understood literally but was used to indicate he was not a curate but the parish priest and of higher...

 of Downe, John Innes
John Brodie-Innes
The Reverend John Brodie-Innes was a close friend and correspondent of Charles Darwin.John Brodie-Innes of Milton Brodie was born in 1815, the son of Colonel John Innes of Ipstone House and Mary Leslie of Burdsbank...

, 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" 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 "Lady Hope Story", published in 1915, claimed that Darwin had reverted back to Christianity on his sickbed. The claims were repudiated by Darwin's children and have been dismissed as false by historians. 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".

Social interpretations


Darwin's fame and popularity led to his name being associated with ideas and movements which at times had only an indirect relation to his writings, and sometimes went directly against his express comments.


Eugenics



Darwin was intrigued by his half-cousin Francis Galton
Francis Galton
Sir Francis Galton /ˈfrɑːnsɪs ˈgɔːltn̩/ FRS , cousin of Douglas Strutt Galton, half-cousin of Charles Darwin, was an English Victorian polymath: anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician...

's argument, introduced in 1865, that statistical analysis
Historiometry
Historiometry is the historical study of human progress or individual personal characteristics, using statistics to analyze references to geniuses, their statements, behavior and discoveries in relatively neutral texts...

 of heredity
Heredity
Heredity is the passing of traits to offspring . This is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to the characteristics of its parent cell or organism. Through heredity, variations exhibited by individuals can accumulate and cause some species to evolve...

 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
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

, 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.

Galton named the field of study "eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

" in 1883. In contrast to Darwin's cautious thoughts on voluntary improvement, negative eugenics later developed on a basis of Mendelian
Mendelian inheritance
Mendelian inheritance is a scientific description of how hereditary characteristics are passed from parent organisms to their offspring; it underlies much of genetics...

 genetics
Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

 and led to compulsory sterilisation laws which brought the field into disrepute.

Social Darwinism



Taking descriptive ideas as moral and social justification creates the ethical is-ought problem
Is-ought problem
The is–ought problem in meta-ethics as articulated by Scottish philosopher and historian, David Hume , is that many writers make claims about what ought to be on the basis of statements about what is...

. When Thomas Malthus
Thomas Malthus
The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus FRS was an English scholar, influential in political economy and demography. Malthus popularized the economic theory of rent....

 argued that population growth beyond resources
Malthusian catastrophe
A Malthusian catastrophe was originally foreseen to be a forced return to subsistence-level conditions once population growth had outpaced agricultural production...

 was ordained by God to get humans to work productively
Protestant work ethic
The Protestant work ethic is a concept in sociology, economics and history, attributable to the work of Max Weber...

 and show restraint in getting families, this was used in the 1830s to justify workhouse
Workhouse
In England and Wales a workhouse, colloquially known as a spike, was a place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment...

s and laissez-faire economics. Evolution was seen as having social implications, and Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era....

's 1851 book Social Statics based ideas of human freedom and individual liberties on his Lamarckian
Lamarckism
Lamarckism is the idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring . It is named after the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck , who incorporated the action of soft inheritance into his evolutionary theories...

 evolutionary theory.

Darwin's theory of evolution was a matter of explanation. He thought it "absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another" and saw evolution as having no goal, but soon after the Origin was published in 1859, critics derided his description of a struggle for existence as a Malthusian
Malthusianism
Malthusianism refers primarily to ideas derived from the political/economic thought of Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, as laid out initially in his 1798 writings, An Essay on the Principle of Population, which describes how unchecked population growth is exponential while the growth of the food...

 justification for the English industrial capitalism of the time. The term Darwinism
Darwinism
Darwinism is a set of movements and concepts related to ideas of transmutation of species or of evolution, including some ideas with no connection to the work of Charles Darwin....

was used for the evolutionary ideas of others, including Spencer's "survival of the fittest
Survival of the fittest
"Survival of the fittest" is a phrase originating in evolutionary theory, as an alternative description of Natural selection. The phrase is today commonly used in contexts that are incompatible with the original meaning as intended by its first two proponents: British polymath philosopher Herbert...

" as free-market progress, and Ernst Haeckel
Ernst Haeckel
The "European War" became known as "The Great War", and it was not until 1920, in the book "The First World War 1914-1918" by Charles à Court Repington, that the term "First World War" was used as the official name for the conflict.-Research:...

's racist
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 ideas of human development. Darwin did not share the racism common at that time: a point examined by the philosopher Antony Flew
Antony Flew
Antony Garrard Newton Flew was a British philosopher. Belonging to the analytic and evidentialist schools of thought, he was notable for his works on the philosophy of religion....

, who is at pains to distance Darwin's attitudes from those later attributed to him. Darwin was strongly against slavery, against "ranking the so-called races of man as distinct species", and against ill-treatment of native people.

Darwin's views on social and political issues reflected his time and social position. He thought men's eminence over women was the outcome of sexual selection, a view disputed by Antoinette Brown Blackwell in The Sexes Throughout Nature
The Sexes Throughout Nature
The Sexes Throughout Nature is a book written by Antoinette Brown Blackwell, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons in 1875.-Overview and print history:...

. He valued European civilisation and saw colonisation as spreading its benefits, with the sad but inevitable effect of extermination of savage peoples who did not become civilised. Darwin's theories presented this as natural, and were cited to promote policies which went against his humanitarian principles. Writers used natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

 to argue for various, often contradictory, ideologies such as laissez-faire dog-eat dog capitalism, racism, warfare, colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 and imperialism
New Imperialism
New Imperialism refers to the colonial expansion adopted by Europe's powers and, later, Japan and the United States, during the 19th and early 20th centuries; expansion took place from the French conquest of Algeria until World War I: approximately 1830 to 1914...

. However, Darwin's holistic view of nature included "dependence of one being on another"; thus pacifists
Pacifism
Pacifism is the opposition to war and violence. The term "pacifism" was coined by the French peace campaignerÉmile Arnaud and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress inGlasgow in 1901.- Definition :...

, socialists, liberal social reformers and anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin
Peter Kropotkin
Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin was a Russian zoologist, evolutionary theorist, philosopher, economist, geographer, author and one of the world's foremost anarcho-communists. Kropotkin advocated a communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations between...

 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.

The term "Social Darwinism
Social Darwinism
Social Darwinism is a term commonly used for theories of society that emerged in England and the United States in the 1870s, seeking to apply the principles of Darwinian evolution to sociology and politics...

" was used infrequently from around the 1890s, but became popular as a derogatory term in the 1940s when used by Richard Hofstadter
Richard Hofstadter
Richard Hofstadter was an American public intellectual of the 1950s, a historian and DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University...

 to attack the laissez-faire conservatism of those like William Graham Sumner
William Graham Sumner
William Graham Sumner was an American academic and "held the first professorship in sociology" at Yale College. For many years he had a reputation as one of the most influential teachers there. He was a polymath with numerous books and essays on American history, economic history, political...

 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.

Commemoration



During Darwin's lifetime, many geographical features were given his name. An expanse of water adjoining the Beagle Channel
Beagle Channel
thumb|right|300px|Aereal view of Beagle Channel. The Chilean [[Navarino Island]] is seen in the top-right while the Argentine part of [[Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego]] is seen at the bottom-left....

 was named Darwin Sound
Darwin Sound
The Darwin Sound is an expanse of seawater which forms a westward continuation of the Beagle Channel and links it to the Pacific Ocean at Londonderry Island and Stewart Island, not far from the southern tip of South America...

by Robert FitzRoy
Robert FitzRoy
Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy RN achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage, and as a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate weather forecasting a reality...

 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
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

 caused a large wave that would have swept away their boats, and the nearby Mount Darwin
Mount Darwin (Andes)
Mount Darwin, the highest peak in Tierra del Fuego at forms part of the Cordillera of the Andes, South America, just to the north of the Beagle Channel. It is formed of crystalline schists and has massive glaciers down its steep southern slopes....

 in the Andes was named in celebration of Darwin's 25th birthday. When the Beagle
HMS Beagle
HMS Beagle was a Cherokee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames, at a cost of £7,803. In July of that year she took part in a fleet review celebrating the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom in which...

was surveying Australia in 1839, Darwin's friend John Lort Stokes
John Lort Stokes
Admiral John Lort Stokes, RN was an officer in the Royal Navy who travelled on HMS Beagle for close to eighteen years.Stokes grew up in Scotchwell near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. He joined the Navy on 20 September 1824...

 sighted a natural harbour which the ship's captain Wickham
John Clements Wickham
John Clements Wickham was a naval officer, magistrate and administrator. He was a Lieutenant on HMS Beagle during her second survey mission from 1831 to 1836, which took the young naturalist Charles Darwin on what became the subject of his book, The Voyage of the Beagle...

 named Port Darwin: a nearby settlement was renamed Darwin
Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 127,500, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities...

 in 1911, and it became the capital city of Australia's Northern Territory
Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the centre of the mainland continent, as well as the central northern regions...

.

More than 120 species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 and nine genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 have been named after Darwin. In one example, the group of tanager
Tanager
The tanagers comprise the bird family Thraupidae, in the order Passeriformes. The family has an American distribution.There were traditionally about 240 species of tanagers, but the taxonomic treatment of this family's members is currently in a state of flux...

s related to those Darwin found in the Galápagos Islands
Galápagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean, west of continental Ecuador, of which they are a part.The Galápagos Islands and its surrounding waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a...

 became popularly known as "Darwin's finches
Darwin's finches
Darwin's finches are a group of 14 or 15 species of passerine birds. It is still not clear which bird family they belong to, but they are not related to the true finches. They were first collected by Charles Darwin on the Galápagos Islands during the second voyage of the Beagle...

" 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
Linnean Society of London
The Linnean Society of London is the world's premier society for the study and dissemination of taxonomy and natural history. It publishes a zoological journal, as well as botanical and biological journals...

 has commemorated Darwin's achievements by the award of the Darwin–Wallace Medal since 1908. Darwin Day
Darwin Day
Darwin Day is a recently instituted celebration intended to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on February 12, 1809. The day is used to highlight Darwin's contribution to science and to promote science in general.-History:...

 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
Hummingbird
Hummingbirds are birds that comprise the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring in the 7.5–13 cm range. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5-cm Bee Hummingbird. They can hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings...

 and the HMS Beagle
HMS Beagle
HMS Beagle was a Cherokee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames, at a cost of £7,803. In July of that year she took part in a fleet review celebrating the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom in which...

, issued by the Bank of England
Bank of England note issues
The Bank of England, which is now the Central Bank of the United Kingdom, has issued banknotes since 1694. Since 1970, its new series of notes have featured portraits of British historical figures. Of the eight banks authorised to issue banknotes in the UK, only the Bank of England can issue...

.

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
The Voyage of the Beagle
The Voyage of the Beagle is a title commonly given to the book written by Charles Darwin and published in 1839 as his Journal and Remarks, bringing him considerable fame and respect...

, 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 barnacle
Barnacle
A barnacle is a type of arthropod belonging to infraclass Cirripedia in the subphylum Crustacea, and is hence related to crabs and lobsters. Barnacles are exclusively marine, and tend to live in shallow and tidal waters, typically in erosive settings. They are sessile suspension feeders, and have...

s. While The Origin of Species
The Origin of Species
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the...

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
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals is a book by Charles Darwin, published in 1872, concerning genetically determined aspects of behaviour. It was published thirteen years after On The Origin of Species and is, along with his 1871 book The Descent of Man, Darwin's main consideration...

had considerable impact, and his books on plants including The Power of Movement in Plants
The Power of Movement in Plants
The Power of Movement in Plants is a book by Charles Darwin on phototropism and other types of movement in plants. This book continues his work in producing evidence for his theory of natural selection...

were innovative studies of great importance, as was his final work on The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms
The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms
The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits is an 1881 book by Charles Darwin on earthworms. It was his last scientific book, and was published shortly before his death...

.

See also


  • Creation-evolution controversy
    Creation-evolution controversy
    The creation–evolution controversy is a recurring cultural, political, and theological dispute about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe....

  • "Darwin among the Machines
    Darwin Among the Machines
    "Darwin among the Machines" appeared as the heading of an article published in The Press newspaper on 13 June 1863 in Christchurch, New Zealand...

    "
  • Darwin's Frog
    Darwin's Frog
    Darwin's Frog is a frog native to the forest streams of Argentina and Chile. It was first described by French Zoologist André Marie Constant Duméril and his assistant Gabriel Bibron, and is named after Charles Darwin who discovered it in Chile during his world voyage on the HMS Beagle.The most...

  • European and American voyages of scientific exploration
    European and American voyages of scientific exploration
    The era of European and American voyages of scientific exploration followed the Age of Discovery and were inspired by a new confidence in science and reason that arose in the Age of Enlightenment...

  • Harriet (tortoise)
  • List of coupled cousins
  • List of mulitiple discoveries
  • Patrick Matthew
    Patrick Matthew
    Patrick Matthew was a Scottish landowner and fruit farmer. He published the principle of natural selection as a mechanism of evolution over a quarter-century earlier than Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace...

  • History of evolutionary thought
    History of evolutionary thought
    Evolutionary thought, the conception that species change over time, has roots in antiquity, in the ideas of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Chinese as well as in medieval Islamic science...

  • History of biology
    History of biology
    The history of biology traces the study of the living world from ancient to modern times. Although the concept of biology as a single coherent field arose in the 19th century, the biological sciences emerged from traditions of medicine and natural history reaching back to ayurveda, ancient Egyptian...

  • Portraits of Charles Darwin
    Portraits of Charles Darwin
    There are many known portraits of Charles Darwin. Darwin came from a wealthy family and became a well-known naturalist and author, and portraits were made of him in childhood, adulthood and old age. Darwin's life spanned the development of photography, and early portraits of Darwin are drawn or...

  • Parson-naturalist
    Parson-naturalist
    Parson-naturalists were a group of 19th Century parsons who saw the study of science as an extension of their religious work. The philosophy entailed the belief that God, as the Creator of all things, wanted man to understand his Creations and thus to study them through scientific techniques.These...

  • Tinamou egg
  • Universal Darwinism
    Universal darwinism
    Universal Darwinism refers to a variety of approaches that extend the theory of Darwinism beyond its original domain of biological evolution on Earth...



External links