The Life of Charles Darwin: Biography

2021-04-19 02:47:38
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Charles Darwin Early Life and Education

Charles Robert Darwin, an English naturalist, and geologist gained fame worldwide due to the contributions that he gave to the evolution theory of humans and other species in general. Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in England on February 12, 1809. He was born in their family home, Mont, and was the fifth born among sick children. His family was wealthy since his father, Robert Darwin, was a doctor and a financier. His mother was called Susannah Darwin (Strathern, 2012). Additionally, the grandparents of Charles Darwin were very famous people in society and this led to the building of the family name in society. His grandfather from his father's side, Erasmus Darwin, and his other grandfather from his mother's side, Josiah Wedgewood, were both abolitionists. Being the grandson of abolitionists made Charles Darwin develop a different mindset that encourages change in society.

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The influence from his grandparents led to a change of mindset and the thinking that Charles Darwin developed towards the existence of mankind and other species in the environment. Both the families of the grandparents of Charles Darwin were majorly Unitarian although the Wedgewoods adopted more Anglicanism. However, Robert Darwin, being a freethinker, ensured that baby Charles Darwin was baptized in the Anglican church but other siblings of Charles Darwin joined their mother in attending the Unitarian chapel. By the age of 8 years, Charles Darwin had gained an interest in natural history and collecting by the time he joined a school that was owned by his preacher in the year 1817 (Wyhe, 2013). Charles Darwin's mother passed on In July 1817. The passing on of Charles Darwin's mother necessitated that Charles and his older brother Erasmus start attending the same school, the Anglican Shrewsbury Schools, from September 1818 where they started to board.

Charles Darwin started to practice as an apprentice doctor in the year 1825 when he started to help his father to treat the poor people in Shropshire before he could join the University of Edinburgh Medical School. At that time University of Edinburgh Medical School was the best in offering medical courses in the United Kingdom. Charles and his elder brother joined the medical school in the year 1825. However, Charles Darwin found the lectures in the medical field to be very boring and the surgery distressing and this made him drop out of the university (Ohno, 2013). Charles then learned taxidermy from John Edmonstone and liked to listen to the ideas that he used to give to him. Darwin considered Edmonstone to be a very pleasant and intelligent man. The close relationships between Darwin and his friend Edmonstone made him acquire various ideas which enables him to broaden his thinking.

In his second year at the university, Charles Darwin joined the Plinian Society which was a group made up of students who were pursuing natural history. Darwin found the group to be very appealing since the group could engage in various debates about matters of radical democracy and this helped the student to change their material views. Joining the Plinian Society led Darwin to change his mode of thinking and this made him question the common religious beliefs and concepts about science (Lamichhaney, 2015). Additionally, Darwin helped Robert Edmond Grant in his investigations about the life cycle and the anatomy of the marine invertebrates in the Firth of Forth. On 27 March 1827, Darwin presented the findings of their investigation to the Plinian Society and added an explanation about what he discovered about the oyster shells.

Where Did Charles Darwin's Journey Start?

What made Darwin gain interest in the evolution of species is when he noted that the black spores in the oyster shells were the eggs of the skate leech. In the course of the interaction between Darwin and Grant, Grant one day appreciated the ideas that were laid down by Lamarck's evolution theory. Darwin also remembered that his grandfather, Erasmus, also used to appreciate the ideas according to Lamarck's evolution theory in the various journals that he wrote. The interest in the evolution of species due to the audacity that Grant in appreciating the ideas according to Lamarck's evolution theory and the fact that he was usually bored by the perception that Robert Jameson gave about evolution where he used the natural history and geology to explain his point (Ohno, 2013). Darwin gained very little in the way geology and the debates about neptunism and plutonism could influence the course of the evolution of species in society.

The interest that Darwin gained in Lamarck's evolutionary theory enabled him to gain interest in the study of the classification of plants and this was made possible with the collections of the University Museum which was one of the largest museums in Europe at the time. Darwin's father became upset when he decided to drop out of the medicine course and his father then decided to send him to Christs College, Cambridge, to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree (Smith, 2012). The main reason why his father sent him to study the course was to prepare him to become an Anglican parson. Since Darwin did not have the right qualifications to join the right courses that he wanted, he was forced to take on the course of the unqualified Tripos and joined the ordinary degree course in January the year 1828.

Where Did Charles Darwin Gain Inspiration From?

Darwin, however, gave much more interest to shooting and riding than studying and his cousin, William Darwin Fox helped him to develop an interest in the craze for collecting beetles. Darwin did the collection of beetles with much Zeal and this made him a number of the animals that he collected are recorded in the Stevens Illustrations of British entomology. The interest in the collection of beetles in the society enabled Darwin to gain much interest in botany and this made him be very close friends with the professor of botany, John Steven Henslow, and then met a number of leading parson-naturalists at the time (Strathern, 2012). Darwin's close friendship with Henslow enabled him to develop a different perspective about life in general and he started to view life as religious natural geology and this made the dons at the university refer to him as the man who walks with Henslow.

As Darwin's exam drew nearer, he began to give much focus on his studies and this enabled him to borrow a lot of ideas from the line of thinking of William Paley in the Evidence of Christianity. In the final examination that Darwin did in the year 1831, he excelled and this made him become number 10 out of a total of 178 students who pursued ordinary degrees (Strathern, 2012). Darwin decided to stay at the university until July 1831 having cleared his examinations in January 1831. His longer stay at the university enabled him to study the Natural Theology or Evidence of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity that was done by Paley in the year 1802. The book helped in making arguments about the divine design of nature, the book also helped in explaining the adaptation as God acting through the laws of nature.

Another book that gave much inspiration to Darwin was the Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy was written by John Herschel and published in 1831. In the book, John submitted that the main aim of natural philosophy was to understand the laws of philosophy by employing the use of inductive reasoning that is majorly based on observation. The other book that enabled Darwin to have a change of thought is Personal Narrative of science travels in 1799-1804 was written by Alexander Von Humboldt (Worthington, 2012). The great zeal Darwin had in the study of natural history made him and his other classmates visit Tenerife after graduation, which would serve to improve their knowledge and understanding of natural history in the tropics. In his preparation to visit Tenerife, Darwin had to join a geology course that was taught by Adam Sedgewick. He then traveled for a fortnight in the summer so that he would be able to map the strata in Wales.

What Theory Did Charles Darwin Come Up With?

Darwin's voyage to map Wales served to improve his knowledge and understanding of the evolution of species which led to the Darwinism theory. The Darwinism theory is a biological theory that seeks to explain the origin of species. The theory posits that all species of organisms arise and develop through the process of natural selection and the inherited variations that help the individual species to improve the level of competition, survival, and reproduction of individual species. The Darwinian theory was developed by Charles Darwin and other people and helped to develop the concepts of transmutation of species of evolution (Wyhe, 2013). The concepts of transmutation of species and evolution were scientifically accepted after Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in the year 1859. Other concepts about the evolution of species that Darwin sought to promote were the concepts of natural selection of the Weismann barrier.

Charles Darwin Theory of Evolution

Although the concepts laid out in Darwinism were strictly related to biological evolution, other creationists in the society have related it to mean the origin of life and this makes it applicable to the concepts of cosmic evolution. The two however do not relate to any works of Darwin on the evolution of species. The main concept that is laid out in Darwinism is that the evolution of organisms results due to the changes that result due to the evolution of species and which aid in the production of variation in each generation (Lamichhaney, 2015). Additionally, the variation of the species results from the differential survival of individuals that have different combinations of such variable characteristics. The Darwinism theory also posits that the species that have characteristics that increase their ability to survive in the environment will have increased opportunities to reproduce.

The theory maintains that the offspring of the improved species will also inherit the advantages from their parents. In this light, the Darwinian Theory maintains that there are possibilities that various variations in the species of organisms over time and the changes would help to improve the survival of organisms in the society. Historians and biologists have analyzed the works of Charles Darwin and they appreciate the importance of the theory in explaining the origin of species in society. In the analysis of Darwin's work On The Origin of Species, there are five different theories that Darwin used and which bring great importance into authenticating his work (Ohno, 2013). The theories are still relevant in modern society in explaining the origin of species and most specifically the origin of mankind. Historian Ernst Mayr identified the five theories and they aided modern researchers in explaining how society has undergone various changes and developed to the modern-day state.

The first theory in Darwinism is the theory of evolution where Darwin explained that species are born, exist, and then die. In the process of living, they undergo various changes and the changes are the ones that enable them to adapt to the changes in the environment and this is what enables them to exist with the changing environmental conditions. The second theory that Darwin used is the theory of common descendant and he explained that all species originated from a common ancestor and then they diversified in the course of existence which resulted in the numerous changes that are witnessed in the society CI...

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