What Did Charles Darwin Study?


Quick Answer

Naturalist Charles Darwin studied medicine at Edinburgh University before switching to theology at Cambridge University in 1828. Darwin earned his degree in theology, but he pursued his interest in natural science throughout college through friendships with Edinburgh zoology professor Robert Grant and Cambridge botany professor John Stevens Henslow, among others.

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Full Answer

Through Darwin's friendship with Grant, he learned how to dissect specimens and observe them under a microscope. Grant also introduced Darwin to French naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck's ideas on transmutation, a term later replaced by "evolution." Darwin learned about taxidermy, the anatomy of animals and the basics of field geology through other friendships. From Henslow, Darwin learned about natural science, and Henslow passed on to Darwin the opportunity to travel on HMS Beagle as a naturalist.

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