Charles Darwin Essay

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Charles Darwin was a man who shaped the way in which we think about evolution in modern times. He brought forth and described the theory of natural selection and survival of the fittest. To fully understand modern evolutionary thoughts it is necessary for one to completely understand the early theories of Charles Darwin. In this paper I will provide the reader with a complete background on Charles Darwin, describe his voyage on the HMS Beagle, and discuss his theory of natural selection.

Charles Robert Darwin, the founder of evolution, was born on February 12, 1809 in rural England. Charles was the son of Robert Darwin and Susannah Wedgewood. His mother died when he was seven and his father died when Charles was thirty-nine.
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Darwin immediately was interested, but he was sure that his father would object to the idea.
His father rejected the scheme on the following grounds: It would be disreputable to his character as a Clergyman, it was a wild scheme, and they must have offered many people before him. (White and Gribben 49). Darwin was desperate to win his father’s approval knowing that it would be his only chance to make this once in a lifetime voyage. There was no way that Charles could afford this pricey expedition. He saw no hope until his best friend Jos Wedgewood, whom Dr. Darwin respected greatly, helped Charles compose a letter to his father pointing out the pluses of the voyage. Soon thereafter, Robert gave his approval.

The Beagle’s purpose was to secure a final survey of the South American continent for trade safety reasons. The captain of the ship, Robert Fitzroy, and Darwin hit it off immediately. The Beagle was a very small ship, measuring only 90 feet. (White and Gribben 53). On December 27, 1831 the ship left the port of Devonport. Darwin immediately became sick and remained ill for most of the voyage. The trip also had its light points. Upon crossing the equator, the Captain took it upon himself to perform the time old ritual on the 31-crew members. Beginning with Darwin, each sailor was tarred and feathered, which soon after resulted in a huge water fight. Darwin wrote in his
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