Charles Darwin is best known for developing the theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin formulated his theories after returning from a voyage around the world on the HMS Beagle and he published them in 1859.
Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, in February 1809. After he graduated from Christ's College in 1831, Darwin was recommended for a naturalist’s position aboard the HMS Beagle. The ship took a five-year voyage around the world, during which time Darwin was able to collect and study a variety of natural specimens. Darwin's firsthand experience with different plants and animals from all over the world raised many important questions.
The prevailing belief among other naturalists of the time was that species came into being at the start of the world, and remained much the same throughout the passage of time. Darwin observed many similarities among species from different regions and environments, leading him to formulate the theory that they had evolved from common ancestors. Darwin introduced his revolutionary theory of evolution at a meeting of the Linnean Society in 1858, one year before he published "On the Origin of Species," a book that would become his most famous work on the subject of evolution.