Charles Darwin Biography

In Charles Darwin biography we find that he was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England.


Darwin was the British naturalist who became famous for his theories of evolution and natural selection.

Darwin believed that all the life on earth evolved (developed gradually) over millions of years from a few common ancestors.

From 1831 to 1836 Darwin served as naturalist aboard the H.M.S. Beagle on a British science expedition around the world.

Young Charles Darwin

charles darwin biography

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In South America Darwin found fossils of extinct animals that were similar to modern species.

On the Galapagos Islands located in the Pacific Ocean (North-West of South America) he noticed many variations among plants and animals of the same general type as those in South America.

The expedition visited places around the world, and Darwin studied plants and animals everywhere he went, collecting specimens for further study.

In Charles Darwin biography we see that upon his return to London he conducted thorough research of his notes and specimens.

There are Several Related Theories:

  • Evolution did occur
  • Evolutionary change was gradual, requiring thousands to millions of years
  • The primary mechanism for evolution was a process called natural selection and
  • The millions of species alive today arose from a single original life form through a branching process called "specialization."

Darwin's theory of evolutionary selection holds that variation within species occurs randomly and that the survival or extinction of each organism is determined by that organism's ability to adapt to its environment.

He set these theories forth in his book called, "The Origin of Species" (1859). Read a review on Charles Darwin History during his visit to the Galapagos Islands

Charles Darwin theory of evolution is based on five key observations and inferences drawn from them.

These observations and inferences have been summarized by the great biologist Ernst Mayr as follows:

  1. Species have great fertility. They make more offspring than can grow to adulthood.
  2. Populations remain roughly the same size, with modest fluctuations.
  3. Food resources are limited, but are relatively constant most of the time.
  4. From these three observations it may be inferred that in such an environment there will be a struggle for survival among individuals.

  5. In sexually reproducing species, generally no two individuals are identical. Variation is rampant.
  6. And, much of this variation is heritable. From this it may be inferred:

In a world of stable populations where each individual must struggle to survive, those with the "best" characteristics will be more likely to survive, and those desirable traits will be passed to their offspring.

These advantageous characteristics are inherited by following generations, becoming dominant among the population through time. This is natural selection.

It may be further inferred that natural selection, if carried far enough, makes changes in a population, eventually leading to new species.

These observations have been amply demonstrated in biology, and even fossils demonstrate the veracity of these observations.

Darwin's Theory of Evolution Summary:

  • Variation: There is Variation in Every Population.
  • Competition: Organisms Compete for limited resources.
  • Offspring: Organisms produce more Offspring than can survive.
  • Genetics: Organisms pass Genetic traits on to their offspring.
  • Natural Selection: Those organisms with the Most Beneficial Traits are more likely to Survive and Reproduce.

After publication of Origin of Species, Charles Darwin biography tells us that he continued to write on botany, geology, and zoology until his death in 1882. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Charles Darwin was a reserved, thorough, hard working scholar who concerned himself with the feelings and emotions not only of his family, but friends and peers as well.

It has been supposed that Charles Darwin renounced evolution on his deathbed.

Charles Darwin biography tells us that shortly after his death, temperance campaigner and evangelist Lady Elizabeth Hope claimed she visited Darwin at his deathbed, and witnessed the renunciation.

Her story was printed in a Boston newspaper and subsequently spread.

Lady Hope's story was refuted by Darwin's daughter Henrietta who stated the following:

I was present at his deathbed ... He never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier.

As we can see above, Darwin's Galapagos Islands evolution work, led him to many religious troubles specially with Catholics who opposed to Charles Darwin's evolution theories. Charles Darwin often avoided talking about the theological and sociological aspects of his work.

Charles Darwin Biography Books and Works:

On the Origin of Species: The Illustrated Edition
Now, for the first time, Darwin's classic is fully and handsomely illustrated with more than 350 illustrations and photos, many of them in brilliant color. Reproductions from Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle, his journal of the travels that led to his remarkable breakthrough, appear throughout, inviting readers to experience Darwin's journey and to understand how he developed his theory of evolution. (Absolutely highly recommended)

Darwin's Universe: Evolution from A to Z
This alphabetically arranged reference, an immensely entertaining browser's delight, offers a dazzling overview of Charles Darwin biography and his incredibly wide sphere of influence. It illuminates the ways in which ideas of evolutionary biology have leapt the boundaries of science to influence philosophy, law, religion, literature, cinema, art, and popular culture.

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