Who Was Charles Darwin?

Charles Darwin was an English naturalist. He was a scientist who focused on biology and was one of the first to write down the base concept of the modern theory of evolution, natural selection. His most famous work is his 1859 book, "On The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," in which he detailed his ideas about natural selection.

Darwin was born in 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Though he initially went to school for medicine and attended Cambridge to study divinity, he eventually went on a half-decade expedition on a survey ship to further his scientific interests. On the trip, he studied geology and visited the Galapagos Islands, where he discovered the large variety of finches that became an important basis for his theory. During this trip, he also gathered many specimens to study further after the journey.

He spent two decades to examining his discoveries and formulating his theory, during which time Alfred Russell Wallace hypothesized the same general idea. Darwin's resulting book was controversial, but eventually became a staple in the study of evolution, even after his death in 1882. His theory has since gained traction and evidence through DNA testing. Darwin died on April 19, 1882.