Charles Darwin was the scientist who first
put forward the idea of evolution. He was born in Shrewsbury in
one of six children in a doctor's family. At the age of 9, he went to Shrewsbury
School. But both there and later at university, he always found the subjects
he was meant to be studying less interesting than science and natural history.
Those became his passion, and then his life's work.
He became a close friend of a professor of botany at Cambridge University.
This led to an invitation to be the
(...2...) on a surveying voyage
around the world aboard HMS Beagle. It turned out to be a voyage of five
years, with much of the time spent on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts
of South America. At every opportunity Darwin went (...3...) to
study the plants, animals and rocks.
When he returned, he published the first of his
called "The Voyage of the Beagle". But it was a later book,
also based on his observations during that voyage, which made him famous.
In "The Origin of Species" he set out his theories of evolution
- that (...5...) develop by natural selection through survival
of the (...6...), and by gradual adaptation to their environment.
It was an instant bestseller. Even now, 150 years later, we automatically
link the name 'Darwin' with the idea of evolution.
Although in later life he moved away to the south of England, he was
(...7...) of the town where he was born. In a letter to the captain
of the Beagle after he returned from their epic voyage, he wrote: "All
England appears changed, excepting the good old town of Shrewsbury and
its (...8...)." A statue commemorates Darwin outside the buildings
of his former school, which have now become the public library.
Links for more information
Museums Service - Charles Darwin
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