How Charles Darwin's Life Experiences Affected His Theory

1140 words - 5 pages

Naturally Curious PAGE 1
Naturally Curious09/03/07It is fascinating to think about how and where our species came to be. Hundreds of questions arise from that one subject as we compare ourselves to other life forms. Charles Darwin took those thoughts a step further. He observed many species throughout his entire life at all ages and stages of development. He is famous for his theory of evolution through natural selection, and although he had many theories and studies, natural selection took the attention. To look at his life and his theory of evolution, to see where the dots connect is an interesting journey.Charles Robert Darwin was born February 12, 1809 in the British Empire. He seemed to have a good life with good surroundings. His father was a doctor as was his grandfather, who was also a philosopher and poet. He had four sisters, one brother, however he lost his mother at the age of eight (Sis, 2003).From day one, Charles' father already had plans for his two sons. They were going to have a good education and become gentlemen. They would learn Greek and Latin and his father also said, "They should be able to read Homer and Virgil" (Sis, 2003). He wanted his sons to become doctors, so at the mere age of nine, Charles was sent to boarding school with is brother Erasmus. Charles did not like the school to which he was sent; he wanted to be outdoors, riding, shooting, fishing, taking long walks, and collecting things (Gruber, 1974). He and his brother would run home whenever the chance came available, and do chemistry experiments in the tool shed (Sis, 2003).After Charles turned sixteen, his father sent him to yet another boarding school that he had no interest in attending. He did not like the medical lectures, and could not watch surgery being performed. What he really enjoyed were the natural sciences. Charles did not want to become a doctor and left the school after two years. His father then decided a different career for him and sent him to a university to begin learning the new career of a clergyman. Charles was still unhappy and found classes that interested him. He humored his father by exceptionally passing his exams but, he began to realize that he was a naturalist (Sis, 2003).The beginning peak of Charles' curiosity began on the Voyage of the Beagle. His father was not happy about it, but he accepted it. Charles was told he was only to go on the voyage for studies and observation (Lowenberg, 1959). The Beagle set sail in 1831 and returned in 1836. He retained and incredible amount of knowledge, and observed a number of things. While in Brazil he drew vivid pictures of his findings: sketches of insects, plants, animals, fossils, and experiences (Sis, 2003). They went to many other places that intrigued Charles. His mind grew rapidly, comparing everything to all the places he observed and documenting similarities and differences among species. After the Voyage of the Beagle, Charles knew what he wanted to do. He felt more...

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