Charles Darwin

Essay by shughesUniversity, Bachelor'sB, February 2008

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Charles Darwin was born in a time where scientific methods, thoughts and beliefs were taking a stronghold in Europe. Romanticism was being replaced by realism and naturalism. Empirical collection of data was becoming more and more important. Darwin was born into a well-to-do English family, but little did he or his family know that he was to become the Isaac Newton of the eighteenth century biology . Charles Darwin originally was to follow in his father's footsteps and study medicine. After a few years of minimal devotion or interest in the study, he chose to become an Anglican clergyman . At the University of Cambridge, Darwin realized his interest in natural history and was offered a position as a naturalist on board the HMS Beagle upon graduation .

While on board, Charles read a recently published Principles of Geology, written by Charles Lyell. The theories within this book are believed to have pressured Charles Darwin to question his ardent Christian faith, and lean more towards a uniformitarian set of beliefs.

After the five year trip on board the HMS Beagle, meticulous collection and observation of plant and animal species , the influence of many current thinkers such as Lyell and Malthus, and the intrigue set forth by the variations in nature at the Galapagos archipelago, Darwin had developed the theory of Natural Selection. He began his first work, The Origin of Species, to explain the principle of Natural Selection after pressure from his new-found colleague, Charles Lyell .

Charles Darwin was affected by many contributing factors of his society at the time. The society in which Darwin lived at the time was more and more ready to accept change and radical ideas. It had been suggested during Darwin's time that "the subject [of evolution] was in the air" but Darwin...