The origin of the human being and the creatures that surround it has afflicted the world for years. Based on extensive observations, Charles Darwin (1809-1882) developed his theory of evolution and clarified the view of the subject, which sparked debate among scientists. Take a look at Charles Darwin’s biography if you want to learn more about one of the most influential naturalists in history.

A brief biography of Charles Darwin

The index

  • Education at the highest level

  • Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle

  • Darwin’s birth

  • Charles Darwin’s mysterious disease

  • Evolution of species

  • Charles Darwin’s latest works

  • The death of a quiet man

Education at the highest level

Charles Robert Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, in Shrewsbury, England. Having been born to wealthy parents Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin, who were passionate about science and nature, he was the fifth child of the Darwins. Charles’ father, a renowned doctor, had several ancestors who were scientists. When he was just 8 years old, Susannah died of stomach cancer.


His father hoped that his son would follow in his footsteps as a doctor, since he considered him capable of continuing his research in medicine. Charles decided to pursue natural sciences due to his discomfort with medical procedures and blood.

His childhood was spent in his hometown and he received his education at home, like most wealthy young men of the time. He was sent to Edinburgh University along with his brother’s Erasmus when he turned 16. It was here, in Scotland, that Darwin made his first steps into the world of science. When he turned 18, he applied to Cambridge University.

HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin became a student of John Stevens Henslow, one of Cambridge University’s best-known botanists, because of his outstanding performance as a student. Together, they developed an excellent friendship, sharing knowledge and conducting research. Darwin graduated from the institution in 1831, and Henslow recommended him for the position of naturalist aboard HMS Beagle, which was to embark on a 5-year voyage around the globe.

As an apprentice scientist, Charles Darwin had an unbeatable opportunity to explore the world on board the HMS Beagle. Darwin studied fossils, plants, and animals on board the ship during the voyage, which began on December 27, 1831. Diary and Observations, a work that summarized the entire expedition, were published by the British scientist after he returned to England at the end of 1836.

Darwinism’s birth

Despite no major revelations in HMS Beagle’s logbook, Darwin had been profoundly influenced by the voyage. During this journey, the young man developed a theory that would change the world forever. The revolutionary approach dealt with the origins of living organisms and clearly differed from other naturalists’ theories of the time. Darwin’s postulates would later be incorporated into the term Darwinism.

Please note

Charles Darwin was already a celebrity among scientists by 1836. A pamphlet summarizing his protégé’s scientific investigations at different laboratories during his university years was delivered by his mentor, John Stevens Henslow. Despite Henslow’s claim to authorship, Darwin received full credit for this paper.

According to Darwin, there are similarities between different species around the world as a result of his studies of fauna, flora, and fossils. During Darwin’s time, variations between creatures were mainly determined by the environment in which they had developed. Based on these observations, he hypothesized that these species evolved gradually from common ancestors. According to his theory of evolution, every living thing has survived or disappeared as a result of natural selection.

Charles Darwin’s mysterious disease

An individual essay regarding Darwin’s voyage aboard the HMS Beagle was published in 1837 with a grant of £1,000 from the Royal Society. To meet the publisher’s unrealistic publication deadline, the scientist worked hard. Additionally, he was writing his own journal and developing his theory of evolution. The doctors recommended Darwin spend a few weeks in the field due to overwork.


Darwin suffered from a disease that plagued him for the rest of his life beginning in 1837. The cause of the disease was never determined, but various speculations suggest that it may have been a bacterium in the water or agoraphobia.

Charles Darwin visited his relatives in Shrewsbury and visited Scotland during his vacation. Instead of finding peace and quiet, he continued to observe plants and animals in the field. From his research notebooks, we can see that he was undecided about marriage during these years. On his return to Shrewsbury, Darwin met his cousin Emma Wedgwood, a lovely and understanding woman.

Origins of species

The proposal to Emma Wedgwood took Charles Darwin nearly a year due to his shy and unsociable nature. In January 1839, the couple married and moved to London. The Royal London Society for the Advancement of Natural Science elected Darwin as a Fellow shortly after he arrived in the city. He remained in that city for a few years, developing his theory of evolution and enjoying Emma’s care.

Charles Darwin presented the results of his years of scientific research in 1858. Initially, Darwin presented his theory of evolution to the Linnean Society of London, a prestigious scientific group. A year later, he would offer a more comprehensive explanation in The Origin of Species. Although controversy arose quickly around this essay, the scientific community valued the enormous amount of information compiled by the scientist.

Several conservative priests pointed out that Darwin’s theory contradicted creationism. Others, however, argued that natural selection could be a creation of God, defending the writing. A major debate over the theory took place around the world during the 1960s. Despite being ill, Darwin participated via correspondence in these discussions.

Charles Darwin’s most recent works

The theory of Charles Darwin continued to be debated around the world while he continued to work. While he secretly wrote a new book, different scientists or reporters regularly visited his house to discuss or learn more about his postulates. His essay The Origin of Man , in which he debated the evolution of the human being and the method he used to choose a partner, was published in 1871.

While my failing health has complicated my life for years, it has kept me away from distractions like socializing and personal entertainment. As a result, I have been able to devote myself almost entirely to my work and to taking care of my family. Charles Darwin.

A new essay was written by Charles Darwin after he published The Descent of Man . The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals was published a year later, in 1872. The scientific community received both works extremely well, despite their conceptual risk. In both books, new concepts are developed based on the theory of natural selection, so they are considered essays derived from The Origin of Species.

The death of a quiet man

The last decade of Charles Darwin’s life was devoted to the study of plants and insects. Insectivorous Plants and The Power of Movement in Plants played a crucial role in the evolution of botany during the early 20th century. While his failing health prevented him from giving frequent lectures, Darwin enjoyed staying home and examining the plants in his garden.

Three of Darwin’s children died as infants, and seven lived to adulthood because he spent most of his income on their education. He highlights the importance of spending time at home away from the bustle of city life in the pages of his diary, written during his final years. Darwin, in contrast to the breeding methods of that time, was a loving father and extremely dedicated to his family’s welfare.

On April 19, 1882, Darwin passed away at his home in Downe, outside of London. A coronary thrombosis had been diagnosed that same year as the heart problems. In one of his diaries, Darwin mentions having been bitten by the insect which causes Chagas disease while passing through Argentina. This has led to speculation that Darwin may have died from the disease.

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