Darwin was born 12th February 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. He was brought up by a wealthy family. He initially planned for his career to be in medicine which he studied at Edinburgh University but later moved to Cambridge. In 1831 Darwin joined a five year scientific expedition on the HMS Beagle.
Darwin was brought up in a Christian household and led to believe by his parents that the world was created by God in seven days. However on his voyage on the HMS Beagle, Darwin read Lyell’s ‘Principles of Geology’ which suggested that the fossils found in rocks were actually evidence of some living being from millions of years ago. Darwin’s breakthrough came on the Galapagos Islands where there was a unique type of finch which was closely related to the form Darwin was familiar with but differed in important ways. When Darwin returned o England in 1836 he started to solve the problems of how species evolve. He proposed a theory of evolution occurring by the means of natural selection. The animals best suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce young who grow stronger characteristics favourable to their backgrounds. Darwin worked on his theory for 20 years. After learning that another naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, had developed similar ideas, the two made a joint announcement of their discovery in 1858. In 1859 Darwin published 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection'. The book was extremely controversial, because