How It Works

Timeline: The Evolution of Charles Darwin

As the father of evolutionary biology, Charles Robert Darwin is the most famous and influential naturalists of his time, if not of all time. Dedicating his life to the study of the natural world and the processes that drive it, here is a brief evolution of the man behind science.

1809

Born in Shrewsbury, England to parents Robert and Susannah Darwin.

1818

In the June of this year, Darwin attended Shrewsbury School where he continued to study for seven years.

1825

Darwin registers to attend medical courses at the university of Edinburgh with his big brother Erasmus.

1827

Discovering medicine was not for him, Darwin is admitted to clerical college at Cambridge, insisted upon by his father.

1831

Accepts an offer to join a voyage on HMS Beagle, due to set sail in late December. Returning in October 1836

1837

Specimens collected from HMS Beagle arranged for identification and work begins on what would later be tilted The Voyage of the Beagle with help from geologist Charles Lyell and ornithologist John Gould.

1839

Darwin marries Emma Wedgwood and in the same year they have their first of ten children.

1842

Darwin publishes a research paper on the structure and distribution of coral reefs.

1856

Begins to pen his thoughts of natural selection.

1858

Receives a letter from Alfred Russell Wallace who shares his ideas of a theory of natural selection.

1859

On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, is published.

1871

Publishes The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, in the same year as he added another chapter to the Origin of Species for it’s sixth edition published a year later.

Darwin spends the following years of his academic career publishing papers on topics such as Insectivorous Plants, The Power of Movement in Plants… and The Formation of Vegetable Mould… Before passing away on April 19th 1882 aged 73.


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