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Darwin Charles Darwin was born on February 12 1809 in Shrewsbury England at about the same hour as Abraham Lincoln He was born to a successful family his father was a doctor and his grandfather was a famous biologist Darwin was not a great student and he decided to become a clergy so he transferred to Cambridge University Instead of becoming cleargy Darwin decided to study geology After school Darwin became naturalist on board the royal navy ship the Beagle The Beagle left England on December 27 1831 this was a small ship with a crew of 74 Darwin had a small laboratory and a hammock to sleep on he suffered bad seasickness Darwins job aboard the Beagle allowed him to study on many different continents He found the remains of giant rodents and many different types of finches Darwin was very interested with how natural events could shape the earths surface At the time most geologists adhered to the so-called catastrophist theory that the earth had experienced a succession of creations of animal and plant life and that each creation had been destroyed by a sudden catastrophe such as an upheaval or convulsion of the earths surface According to this theory the most recent catastrophe Noahs flood wiped away all life except those forms taken into the ark The rest were visible only in the form of fossils In the view of the catastrophists species were individually created and immutable that is unchangeable for all time In the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador he also observed that each island supported its own form of tortoise mockingbird and finch the various forms were closely related but differed in structure and eating habits from island to island Both observations raised the question for Darwin of possible links between distinct but similar species When Darwin returned to England he began to piece together what he learned on his voyage This
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