Charles Darwin

  • Early Childhood 1809-1825

    Charles and his siblings regularly attended a unitary chapel with their mother. At eight years old, Charles had a little bit of knowledge of the natural world when he began day school run by a preacher of his chapel. After his mother passed in 1817, he later joined his brother in a nearby Angelican Shrewsbury School. In 1825, Charles spent the summer as an apprentice doctor with his father, where they treated the poor.
  • Born

    Charles Robert Darwin was born February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. His parents were Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin.
    Michael Ruse. Charles Darwin. Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. EBSCOhost,
  • The College Experience

    In October, 1825, Darwin attended the best medical school in the UK, University of Edinburgh Medical School with his brother, Erasmus. In his first year, he found lectures boring and surgeries stressful, so he wound up neglecting his studies. In his second year, he found interest in taxidermy with the help of John Edmonstone, a freed black slave. He also joined Plinian Society, a natural-history group where they engaged in lively debates of materialistic vs. religious views.
  • The College Experience (continued)

    Following Darwin's lack of interest and motivation in medical studies, his father sent him to Christ's College to pursue an Arts degree. Following another lack of interest in his education, his cousin (who was also attending the university) wowed Darwin with his butterfly collection, thus introducing him into entomology. This new interest sparked Charles to start his own beetle collection. Darwin had some of his find published in James Stephen's "Illustrations of British Entomology".
  • Graduation

    Charles passed his final exam in January, 1831. He was top ten in his graduating class, despite his lack of interest in his education. He remained at Cambridge until June 1831, following his graduation. He studies publications and theories regarding natural theory and design in nature. Darwin had a burning passion to contribute to these studies, so he and his friends had planned a trip to Tenerife to study natural history in the tropics.
  • Period: to

    The Voyage of HMS Beagle

    Following some brief travel in Wales, he returned home to find a letter invitation to go on a two year survey voyage to chart the coastline of South America. Robert Darwin strongly opposed his son's trip. He went anyway. The journey began on December 27, 1831, and lasted for five years. Most of Darwin's time was spend on shore-side studying geology and collecting other natural artifacts. He took a ton of notes , though when they were underway, Charles suffered from extreme seasickness.
  • Discoveries of the Natural World

    In 1835, while land-borne in Chile, he experienced his first earthquake. He noted several fossils, seashells, and trees that seemed a bit out of place, based on the elevation of the Andes Mountains. Throughout his travels, he noted several differences in animals from location to location.
  • The Dawn of Darwin's Evolutionary Theory

    Darwin returned to home port in England on October 2, 1836. Darwin's father organized investments to fund his son's naturalist science. He traveled to London to meet with experts and showcase his collection of plants and animals he acquired during his trip. By mid-March, 1837, Darwin first began expressing beliefs that one species may turn into another. In July, he began to discuss variation between animals, and the branched genetics of evolution. This was called natural selection.