Charles Darwin


Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin (February 12, 1809 - April 19, 1882) was an English naturalist. He is most famous for proposing the theory of evolution. This theory says that all types of living organisms came from a common ancestor. He said the way that groups of organisms changed was through natural selection of the fittest, most well adapted or most successful organisms over other, less fit ones. He also said that some organisms are better adapted because of normal differences brought about by mutations (changes in the genes). Since some differences might make an organism more successful, it would have a better chance to survive, and would pass on its genes to future generations. Any difference that would cause the organism to have a lower survival rate would be less likely to be passed on, and might die out sooner.
He first thought of this theory in 1838. Historians think that he did not talk about his theory because he was afraid that people would not like his theory if it showed questions about religion. So he did not publish it in a book until 1859, when he heard that another scientist, Alfred Wallace had the same ideas. Wallace was close to publishing his ideas, so Darwin gave a lecture talking about his own and Wallace's ideas, then published his book. The name of the book was "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life". This is also just called "The Origin of Species".


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