Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was the English naturalist who proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Scientists   >   Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin



Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was the English naturalist who proposed the theory of evolution by Natural Selection.

Charles Darwin was born on England. On his father's side, he was the grandson of Erasmus Darwin (who is himself famous as a natural philosopher), and on his mother's, the grandson of Josiah Wedgwood (famous for the industrialization of pottery manufacture).

Charles Darwin was educated at Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities, and famously went on a 5 year (1831 to 1836) voyage with HMS Beagle - while the ship surveyed and charted coasts, Darwin investigated geology and collected natural history specimens.

HMS Beagle painted by Conrad Martens:
HMS Beagle painted by Conrad Martens

Over the next few years, Darwin gradually developed his theory of Natural Selection. Darwin however held back from publishing his theory, perhaps noting the storm of controversy caused by a popular-science book about Lamarkian evolution, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, which was anonymously published (but written by a Scottish journalist, Robert Chambers). Although, Darwin considered the science of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation to be weak, it did allow to further develop his own work, and anticipate potential counter-arguments.

In 1856, through his friend, the eminent geologist Sir Charles Lyell, Darwin became aware of the work of Alfred Russel Wallace, who seemed to be thinking along similar lines to Darwin. Lyell urged Darwin to publish in order to establish priority, and Darwin began work on a short paper - which eventually grew into a large book. In 1857, Darwin sent an abstract of his book to the American botanist, Asa Grey. In 1858, while Darwin's own book was still only half complete, Darwin received a paper from Wallace describing Natural Selection. As a result, although Darwin himself could not attend since his baby son had died of scarlet fever, Darwin's friends Lyell and Joseph Dalton Hooker, made a joint presentation to the Linnean Society on July 1st. Finally, in 1859, Darwin published "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" (usually abbreviated to simply "On the Origin of Species" which was an immediate success, but also caused a storm of controversy.

"On the Origin of Species" soon became a staple scientific text, and was translated into many different languages. Despite a number of illnesses, Darwin continued to publish many other books through the remainder his life.

Charles Darwin in 1868:
Charles Darwin in 1868

Darwin died in 1882, aged 71, and was given a state funeral at Westminister Abbey (one of only five non-royals to ever receive this honor). Even during his lifetime, many species and geographical places and locations have been named after him, and this has continued through to the present day. Many biographical and fictional works about Darwin's life have been written, he has also been remembered on British currency (including a special commemorative two pound coin issued in 2009) and by Darwin Day, which marks the anniversary of his birth.

During Darwin's life, the main opposition to his theory came from religious people, and even today there are many religious people who do not accept the idea of evolution or Darwin's ideas in particular. (although in 2008 the Church of England issued an apology stating "for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still"). As far as the scientific community is concerned, although the idea of evolution was quickly and widely accepted, it took quite a few years until Darwin's mechanism, Natural Selection, was generally accepted as the process by which evolution occurred - indeed it was not until the development of the "Modern Evolutionary Synthesis" (which combined Darwin's theory of Natural Selection with Mendelian genetics) in the 1930s. Today however, although there remains debate about various detailed technical issues, Natural Selection and Mendelian genetics together form the basis of our understanding of biology.
Caricature of Charles Darwin as an ape
(from The Hornet magazine 1871):
Caricature of Charles Darwin as an ape



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The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition
By Charles Darwin

Signet Book
Released: 2003-09-02
Mass Market Paperback (576 pages)

The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition
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  • Signet Book
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Charles Darwin’s classic that exploded into public controversy, revolutionized the course of science, and continues to transform our views of the world.

Few other books have created such a lasting storm of controversy as The Origin of Species. Darwin’s theory that species derive from other species by a gradual evolutionary process and that the average level of each species is heightened by the “survival of the fittest” stirred up popular debate to fever pitch. Its acceptance revolutionized the course of science.

As Sir Julian Huxley, the noted biologist, points out in his illuminating introduction, the importance of Darwin’s contribution to modern scientific knowledge is almost impossible to evaluate: “a truly great book, one which can still be read with profit by professional biologist.”

Includes an Introduction by Sir Julian Huxley
From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books (Voyage of the Beagle, The Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals)
By Charles Darwin

Darwin, Charles/ Wilson, Edward O.
Hardcover (1706 pages)

From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin s Four Great Books (Voyage of the Beagle, The Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals)
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Hailed as "superior" by Nature, this landmark volume is  available in a collectible, boxed edition.

Never before have the four great works of Charles Darwin―Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle (1845), The Origin of Species (1859), The Descent of Man (1871), and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals (1872)―been collected under one cover. Undertaking this challenging endeavor 123 years after Darwin's death, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson has written an introductory essay for the occasion, while providing new, insightful introductions to each of the four volumes and an afterword that examines the fate of evolutionary theory in an era of religious resistance. In addition, Wilson has crafted a creative new index to accompany these four texts, which links the nineteenth-century, Darwinian evolutionary concepts to contemporary biological thought. Beautifully slipcased, and including restored versions of the original illustrations, From So Simple a Beginning turns our attention to the astounding power of the natural creative process and the magnificence of its products. 101 illustrations
On the Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition (Harvard Paperbacks)
By Charles Darwin

Brand: Harvard University Press
Paperback (540 pages)

On the Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition (Harvard Paperbacks)
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It is now generally recognized that the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859 not only decisively altered the basic concepts of biological theory but had a profound and lasting influence on social, philosophic, and religious thought. This work is rightly regarded as one of the most important books ever printed.

The first edition had a freshness and uncompromising directness that were considerably weakened in subsequent editions. Nearly all reprints were based on the greatly modified sixth edition (1872), and the only modern reprint changes pagination, making references to the original very difficult. Clearly, there has been a need for a facsimile reprint. Professor Mayr's introduction has a threefold purpose: to list passages in the first edition that Darwin altered in later editions; to point out instances in which Darwin was clearly pioneering; and to call attention to neglected passages that show Darwin as a much deeper thinker than has been recognized. No one can fail to be impressed by the originality of Darwin's treatment and by the intellectual challenge his work presents even to the modern reader.

On The Origin of Species
By Sabina Radeva

Puffin
Released: 2019-02-07
Hardcover (64 pages)

On The Origin of Species
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The first ever picture-book retelling of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species; this accessible work brings evolution to the younger generation through stylish illustrations and a simple, easy-to-understand text.

On The Origin of Species has been the definitive explanation of the theory of evolution since it was first published in 1859. Now molecular biologist and illustrator Sabina Radeva unites her two passions to create a 48-page retelling of this seminal text.

Pulling together Darwin's observations from his travels around the world and his groundbreaking - and controversial - explanation of how species form, develop and change over hundreds of thousands of years, On The Origin of Species is as relevant and important now as it ever was.

On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection (Dover Thrift Editions)
By Charles Darwin

imusti
Released: 2006-06-23
Paperback (336 pages)

On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection (Dover Thrift Editions)
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  • Dover Publications
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"The Origin is one of the most important books ever published, and a knowledge of it should be a part of the intellectual equipment of every educated person. . . . The book will endure in future ages so long as a knowledge of science persists among mankind." — Nature
It took Charles Darwin more than twenty years to publish this book, in part because he realized that it would ignite a firestorm of controversy. On the Origin of Species first appeared in 1859, and it remains a continuing source of conflict to this day. Even among those who reject its ideas, however, the work's impact is undeniable. In science, philosophy, and theology, this is a book that changed the world.
In addition to its status as the focus of a dramatic turning point in scientific thought, On the Origin of Species stands as a remarkably readable study. Carefully reasoned and well-documented in its arguments, the work offers coherent views of natural selection, adaptation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, and other concepts that form the foundation of modern evolutionary theory. This volume is a reprint of the critically acclaimed first edition.
On the Origin of the Species: Slip-cased Edition
By Charles Darwin

imusti
Hardcover (384 pages)

On the Origin of the Species: Slip-cased Edition
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  • Arcturus Publishing Ltd
Product Description:

On the Origin of Species is a book that changed the way we think about the development of life on earth.

The author's controversial theory of natural selection, or survival of the fittest, would make him internationally famous and put the issue of evolution at the centre of a fierce debate which still rages some 150 years after the book's first publication.

This clothbound edition includes over one hundred delicately detailed and informative contemporary illustrations, many of them relating to the discoveries Darwin made during the second voyage of the research ship, H.M.S. Beagle. A truly beautiful and highly collectible edition in its own slipcase.

A Modest Genius: The story of Darwin's life and how his ideas changed everything
By Hanne Strager

Released: 2016-11-15
Kindle Edition (233 pages)

A Modest Genius: The story of Darwin s life and how his ideas changed everything
 
Product Description:
Part biography, part popular science, A Modest Genius provides a lively, engaging account of Darwin’s life and the events that inspired his groundbreaking theory. Science writer and biologist Hanne Strager brings Darwin to life while offering the essential elements of evolution and how they affect us today.

Much has been written on Darwin’s life, his groundbreaking work, and the influence he has had on modern scientific thought and advancements, but most books assume a certain level of scientific knowledge. A Modest Genius changes that, offering an accessible, easy-to-understand discussion of Darwin’s work.

Readers follow Darwin from his early years through his travels. Hanne Strager explains how Darwin assembled the pieces of a fascinating puzzle while also describing the fundamental principles of evolution.

Darwin’s theory, by necessity, was incomplete when he proposed it. He lacked modern knowledge of the fossil record, DNA and genetics. Strager explains how advances in these and other scientific areas expanded on Darwin’s original work. She also discusses the ongoing conflict between religion and evolution, including the famous Scopes Monkey Trial and the battle Darwin himself fought between faith and intellect.

Bold, exciting, and easily understood, A Modest Genius offers an opportunity to understand one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of the modern age.
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation
By Michael Keller

Rodale Books
Released: 2009-10-27
Paperback (192 pages)

Charles Darwin s On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation
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A stunning graphic adaptation of one of the most famous, contested, and important books of all time.

Few books have been as controversial or as historically significant as Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. Since the moment it was released on November 24, 1859, Darwin's masterwork has been heralded for changing the course of science and condemned for its implied challenges to religion.

In Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, author Michael Keller and illustrator Nicolle Rager Fuller introduce a new generation of readers to the original text. Including sections about his pioneering research, the book's initial public reception, his correspondence with other leading scientists, as well as the most recent breakthroughs in evolutionary theory, this riveting, beautifully rendered adaptation breathes new life into Darwin's seminal and still polarizing work.
On the Origin of Species: The Illustrated Edition
By Charles Darwin

Sterling Signature
Paperback (560 pages)

On the Origin of Species: The Illustrated Edition
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  • Sterling Signature
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Now in paperback, this richly illustrated edition of Charles Darwin's paradigm-shattering masterpiece brings Darwin's life and controversial theories into full view. Edited and with an introduction by award-winning science journalist David Quammen, it features more than 300 illustrations, including paintings, personal photographs, botanical and zoological studies, and newspaper engravings. Excerpts from Darwin's other works, especially The Voyage of the Beagle, and facsimile pages from his letters and diaries invite readers to experience Darwin's journey and scientific breakthrough. 

On The Origin Of Species
By Charles Darwin

Independently published
Paperback (599 pages)

On The Origin Of Species
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When on board H.M.S. Beagle, as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the organic beings inhabiting South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts, as will be seen in the latter chapters of this volume, seemed to throw some light on the origin of species—that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. After five years’ work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which then seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. I hope that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision. - Taken from "The Origin Of Species" written by Charles Darwin


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