Biographies

Charles Darwin and evolution

Charles Darwin and evolution

Darwin is a fundamental character in the history of biology. His discoveries about evolution form the basis for understanding the diversity of life on planet Earth.

Charles Robert Darwin was an English-born naturalist who was born in Shrewsbury on February 12, 1809 and died in Downe on April 19, 1882.

He left his medical studies to devote himself fully to the natural sciences, with the support of the University of Cambridge, which was a success. Embarked on HMS Beagle around the world, he consolidated his fame as a geologist and naturalist. He studied the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected during his trip. From his observations, he conceived his theory of natural selection in 1838.

Upon his return he initiated a deeper investigation that took him twenty years. While he was writing his theory, in 1858, he received a letter from Alfred Russel Wallace describing the same idea, which precipitated his publication.

Darwin is known primarily for his work "The Origin of Species" in which he explained how all species of living things have evolved, through the so-called natural selection, from a common ancestor.

Although this theory was accepted by virtually the entire scientific community as a fact, as well as by a large part of society at the time, it was not considered as the main explanation of the evolutionary process until the 1930s. However , today it has been configured as the basis of modern evolutionary synthesis.

Thus, Charles Darwin published his main work in 1859 under the name of "The origin of species through natural selection, or the preservation of the preferred races in the struggle for life." In it he postulated that the origin of the great diversity of species that exist in the world today is a consequence of the successive modifications that have been produced in the different generations, and that have given rise to evolution.

However, he also discussed other topics such as botany or geology, although his study on human evolution and natural selection in two works called "The origin of man and selection in relation to sex" and "The expression of emotions in animals and in man. "

Such was the importance of Charles Darwin in the scientific community that, in recognition of his work, he was one of the 5 characters of the nineteenth century honored with a state funeral, despite not belonging to the royalty of the United Kingdom. Thus, he was buried in the same Westminster Abbey, next to the tombs of Isaac Newton and John Herschel.

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