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he was only eight, his mother died, and his sisters were given charge of the household, while his father became more withdrawn than ever.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 part...
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...s bored because now he had nothing to do! His health went slowly downhill, and then he had violent seizures, chest pain, and heart problems. He died on April 29, 1882, at 4:00 pm with his family gathered around him.
It is interesting to note that, contrary to popular belief, Darwin was not buried next to Sir Isaac Newton, but was in fact entombed beside his old friend, Sir John Herschel. Newton’s tomb is about twenty feet away, and monuments for other famous men are scattered around in close proximity.
Overall, Darwin’s life was full of contradictions. He once hated geology, then loved it. He created one of the greatest tools that helps to chisel away at religion, but he himself never intended it for such use. No matter what, no one can dispute that, whether for good or for bad, in the seventy-three years he was alive, Charles Darwin truly changed our world.
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