January 28, 2014
Darwin Bio Paper
Darwin: The Man Who Changed the World
On February 12, 1809, a boy was born who would change the face of science, religion, and ethics around the world. His name was Charles Robert Darwin.
Darwin’s father was a doctor, and he was already forty-three by the time Charles was born at The Mount in Shrewsbury, England. Charles’ four siblings were Marianne, Caroline, Susan, and Erasmus. He was a bright but mischievous boy who made up crazy stories. Sadly, when he was only eight, his mother died, and his sisters were given charge of the household, while his father became more withdrawn than ever.
He didn’t enjoy school much, probably because he was taught the classics and did not have an appreciation for them. However, five years later, he and his brother Erasmus Darwin set up a makeshift chemistry lab in a shed, where they learned basic scientific principles of experimentation. Obviously, as seen in his later life, Darwin had a great potential for knowledge.
At sixteen, his father took him out of school and reprimanded him for his idleness. It seems Darwin was too idle and one of his few interests was actually rat-trapping! His father made him an assistant in his medical business so that the young Darwin would apply himself and be kept out of mischief. Then, his father decided that Charles should go to medical school, so that he would follow his father’s and his grandfather’s career path.
Unfortunately for Darwin’s father, the restless Charles did not take a liking to living with his brother across from the university. Apparently, not only did Darwin think medicine absurdly boring, but the sight of blood was abhorrent to him! He did, however, enjoy the chemistry lectures given there. His first year at the school was not particularly interesting, but another bright spot, besides chemistry, was that he was taught taxidermy by a freed black slave.
Darwin attended meetings of a certain Plinian society, which was not amenable to the idea of a God, but instead created naturalistic theories of creation. He gave a speech there, but on a decidedly uninteresting topic: skate-leech eggs and sea-mat larvae. Interestingly, around this time Darwin sat through a geology lecture and found it so incredibly tedious that he vowed never to pursue it in the future!
By the time Darwin ended his second year at medical school, he had quit for good. His next endeavor was to study to become a preacher, at Cambridge in 1827, but he again did not apply himself, instead choosing to party and catch beetles. It was at this time that he began to become involved with Fanny Owen, daughter of William Owen. However, in a few years they broke up because apparently Darwin was no sentimental lovebird but instead was overly absorbed in his beetle-catching.
Though Darwin was not fully attentive to his studies, he did eventually pass his final exam 10th out of 178 students. After leaving Cambridge, he began reading about natural history...