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Charles Darwin 1809-82 Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury Shropshire in 1809 His mother died when he was eight years old leaving his sister to look after him He originally went to school in Shrewsbury then was sent to Edinburgh to study medicine After realizing that medicine wasnt of interest to him he attended Christs College in Cambridge to study theology At this time in his life one of his main interests was to collect plants insects and geological specimens While at college his botany professor John Stevens Henslow secured a place for him as a naturalist on a surveying expedition of HMS Beagle to Patagonia The expedition would last from 1831 to 1836 During this five year expedition Darwin obtained intimate knowledge of the flora fauna and geology of many areas This would equip him for his later investigations By 1846 Darwin had published several works on the discoveries of his voyage These works immediately placed him in the front rank of scientists at that time From the practical knowledge he gained on his voyage especially in variation and interbreeding he was able to devote all of his resources to science In 1842 Darwin moved to Down House Downe Kent It was here that he began the greatest work of his life- the problem of the origin of species He drew up his observations in short notes then expanded these notes into a sketch of conclusions for his own use These conclusions held the principle of natural selection but caution did not let him publish them In 1858 Alfred Russel Wallace sent him a memoir of the Malay Archipelago which to Darwins surprise contained the main ideas of his own theory of natural selection He was persuaded to submit a paper of his own which he based on his 1844 sketch This paper along with Wallaces were read before the Linnean Society Neither of the men were present at this historic event From
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