Today marks Darwin Day, where humanists celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. According to Darwinday.org the day is a time for “celebration, activism and international cooperation for the advancement of science, education and human well-being.” Darwin was the pioneer of the modern form of the theory of evolution by means of natural selection.
Where did Charles Darwin grow up?
Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 at his family home The Mount, in Shrewsbury a house built by Darwin’s father in the early years of his marriage.
Darwin was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier, Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin.
He already had four older siblings, Marianne, Caroline, Susan and his brother Erasmus when he was born.
Susannah spent her time in charge of the house, the children and finances, while Robert spend his time with patients at his practice.
Darwin’s mother died when he was only eight and started getting ill with gastrointestinal symptoms, which was probably a sign of severe ulcer or stomach cancer.
His father spent more time running his medical practice and left the household to be run by Darwin’s elder sisters, Marianne and Caroline, following the death of his wife.
Darwin was educated by his sister Caroline and then spent a year at a day school in Shrewsbury.
From there, he moved to The Shrewsbury School, which was a boarding school focusing almost exclusively on the classics.
At the age of 16, Darwin was taken aside by his father Robert and was told he would go to the University of Edinburgh where his father and grandfather had trained to become doctors.
His brother Erasmus who had been studying medicine at the University of Cambridge would join him there.
What was Charles Darwin famous for?
Darwin did not invent evolution as the ancient Greeks believed in a form of evolution and even Darwin’s grandfather had formulated his own view of naturalistic evolution.
He is regarded as the key popularise of ‘molecules-to-man’ evolution.
November 22 marks the anniversary of the publication of his book On the Origin of Species in 1859.
The theory of biological evolution was developed by Darwin and the process of natural selection.
Darwin’s theory of evolution declared that species survived through a process called “natural selection”, where those that successfully adapted, or evolved, to meet the changing requirements of their natural habitat thrived, while those that failed to evolve and reproduce died off.
He noted similarities among species all over the globe through his observations and studies of birds, plants and fossils.
Darwin believed the species we know today had gradually evolved from common ancestors.
His theory of evolution and the process of natural selection later became known simply as ‘Darwinism.’