1809 - 1882 (73 years)
Has more than 250 ancestors and 70 descendants in this family tree.
||Charles Robert Darwin |
||12 Feb 1809
||The Mount, Shrewsbury, Sal
||15 Nov 1809
||St Chad Shrewsbury, Sal
||19 Apr 1882
||29 Aug 2000 |
||Dr Robert Waring Darwin, b. 30 May 1766, Lichfield, Sts , d. 13 Nov 1848, The Mount, Shrewsbury, Sal (Age 82 years) |
||Susannah Wedgwood, c. 23 Jan 1765, Burslem, Sts , d. 13 Jul 1817, The Mount, Shrewsbury, Sal (Age ~ 52 years) |
||18 Apr 1796
||St Marylebone, London, Middlesex, England
||5 siblings |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||Emma Wedgwood, c. 22 May 1808, Maer, Sts , d. 2 Oct 1896, Downe, Ken (Age ~ 88 years) |
||29 Jan 1839
| ||1. William Erasmus Darwin, b. 27 Dec 1839, 12 Upper Gower Street, St Pancras, Mdx , d. 8 Sep 1914, Sedburgh, Yks (Age 74 years)|
| ||2. Anne Elizabeth Darwin, b. 2 Mar 1841, 12 Upper Gower Street, St Pancras, Mdx , d. 23 Apr 1851, Downe House, Downe, Ken (Age 10 years)|
| ||3. Mary Eleanor Darwin, b. 23 Sep 1842, Downe House, Downe, Ken , d. Yes, date unknown|
| ||4. Henrietta Emma Darwin, b. 25 Sep 1843, Downe House, Downe, Ken , d. 17 Dec 1927, Burrows Hill, Gomshall, Sry (Age 84 years)|
| ||5. George Howard Darwin, b. 9 Jul 1845, Downe House, Downe, Ken , d. 7 Dec 1912, Newnham Grange, Cambridge (Age 67 years)|
| ||6. Elizabeth Darwin, b. 8 Jul 1847, Downe House, Downe, Ken , d. 8 Jun 1926, Burrows Hill, Gomshall, Sry (Age 78 years)|
|+||7. Francis Darwin, b. 16 Aug 1848, Downe House, Downe, Ken , d. 19 Sep 1925, Madingley Road, Cambridge (Age 77 years)|
| ||8. Maj. Leonard Darwin, b. 15 Jan 1850, Downe House, Downe, Ken , d. 26 Mar 1943, Cripps Corner, Forest Row, Ssx (Age 93 years)|
|+||9. Horace Darwin, b. 13 May 1851, Downe House, Downe, Ken , d. 22 Sep 1928, The Orchard, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge (Age 77 years)|
| ||10. Charles Waring Darwin, b. 6 Dec 1856, Downe House, Downe, Ken , d. 1858 (Age 1 years)|
||29 Aug 2000 |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- Considered the father of evolution, Charles Darwin has been one of the most respected and most reviled figures in history. Like all famous figures, he has been surrounded by some mythology as well.
While still a young man, Darwin set sail aboard the Beagle to see the world before returning to England to become, as he planned, a country gentleman and parson. (He halfway succeeded -- he remained a country gentleman the rest of his life.) Legend holds that Darwin happened upon one of science's most important theories during his travels aboard the Beagle, through his unbiased observation of nature. In fact, Darwin devised no great theory until after his return to England, and he was not the first person to propose evolution. In fact, evolution was widely discussed -- at least in scientific circles -- long before Darwin published any of his theories. The question was, how did evolution occur? The reason Charles Darwin is a household name is because he proposed a viable mechanism for evolution, namely natural selection.
Here's how natural selection works: In any population, there will be variations. Individuals born with certain characteristics, e.g., strong legs, keen eyesight, good camoflage, will enjoy an advantage over their peers. If these individuals can pass these traits on to their offspring, their offspring will enjoy the same advantages. If the surrounding environment gradually changes, it may come to pass that new characteristics are more advantageous than old ones, for instance, a new color that makes better camoflage. As the environment changes, individuals with these new characteristics will do better, live longer and produce more offspring
until eventually, the population will look very different from its original version. If the population changes enough to satisfy some taxonomist, it will be classified as a new species. In other words, new species arise when the environment favors new characteristics over old ones.
What sounds pretty simple was in fact very controversial for Darwin's time (and it still is today in many parts of the Western world). What his theory basically stated is that life on earth is simply the result of billions of years of adaptations to changing environments. What this theory implied, and what Darwin stated more clearly in his book The Descent of Man, is that humans, like every other organism on earth, were the result of evolution. In short, Darwin's idea was unflattering. It also conflicted with the 19th-century confidence in the "designfulness" that organisms exhibited for their environments, a design that looked intentional.
Just as some people refused to accept Darwin's theories at all, others were all too happy to accept his teachings -- and exploit them. Another myth attached to Darwin is that he coined the phrase "survival of the fittest". He didn't. Darwin developed the theory of natural selection to explain differences between species, but many of his contemporaries used his ideas to promote Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism maintains that certain peoples are poorer than others and more likely to be used as slave labor because they're "less evolved" and therefore inferior. (Keep in mind that racism masquerading as science didn't get its start with Social Darwinism. Before that, it thrived in the form of the "Great Chain of Being".)