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Type of Work Natural history text First Published 1859 Complete Title The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life Book Historical Commentary Charles Robert Darwin the grandson of the English scientist Erasmus Darwin studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and prepared for the ministry at Cambridge Following his abiding interest in natural history however he became a naturalist and sailed in this capacity on the HMS Beagle from 1831 to 1838 The Beagles expedition took Darwin to various Southern Pacific islands and to the coasts of South America and Australia Returning to England Darwin became the secretary of the Geological Society and in 1840 published a treatise Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle At this time he met Sir Charles Lyell who encouraged him to write about his inbreeding experiments and to expound on his theory of evolution by natural selection Later in 1844 Darwin received from a fellow naturalist Alfred Wallace notes outlining a theory - parallel to but independent of his own - on natural selection Darwin carried on his research and in 1858 published an essay delineating his own evolutionary theory along with Wallaces findings The following year The Origin of Species appeared The books first edition sold out in one day stirring an immediate clamor of controversy It is still recognized as one of the most disputed yet important works of biological study Darwin went on to publish The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants 1865 The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication 1868 The Descent of Man 1871 and Selection in Relation to Sex 1871 The Origin of Species has powerfully influenced nearly every contemporary field of scientific and philosophical study biology literature law psychology sociology theology and other fields of intellectual pursuit Despite the length and weighty content of Darwins work the
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