Charles Robert Darwin (February 12, 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, famous for having formulated, together with Alfred Russel Wallace, the theory of the evolution of animal and plant species by natural selection of random mutations congenital hereditary defects, and for having theorized the descendants of all primates (including man) from a common ancestor. He has published his theory on the evolution of the species in the book The origin of species (1859), which remained his work more widely known.
He was born in Shrewsbury, England, the fifth of six children of Robert Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood, was grandson of Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood. After completing his studies, he enrolled in Medicine at Edinburgh in 1825. His disgust for the dissection and the crudity of surgery of the time led him to abandon the School of Medicine in 1827. In that institute was however influenced from lamarkiano Robert Edmund Grant. His father, dissatisfied that had not become doctor and fearing became a good for nothing, the arrived in Cambridge, hoping that would become part of the clergy. AT Cambridge, Darwin was strongly influenced by scientific personalities such as William Whewell and John Stevens Henslow: this, together with the interest in the collections of beetles the address, encouraged by his cousin William Darwin Fox, toward the natural history.
Darwin stayed at Cambridge for further studies in Geology, for which demonstrated readiness. In the summer of 1831 working with the great geologist Adam Sedwick in reliefs stratigraphic in Wales. After he had finished his studies, the young scholar was recommended by Henslow as companion of Robert Fitzroy, captain of the ship Beagle that was leaving for a cartographic expedition five years around the coasts of South America. The work of Darwin during shipping allowed him to study first-hand both the geological characteristics of continents and islands, is a large number of living organisms and fossils. He methodically collected a large number of unknown samples to science: these samples, which were transferred to the British Museum, were already a significant and unparalleled scientific contribution.
Charles Darwin and the author of the revolutionary work has renewed the scientific thought, freeing it from old patterns of the theological tradition: the idea that living beings have found origin in elementary forms primordial to then develop gradually in species alive today. On the basis of countless collected data on the flora and fauna around the world, Darwin arrived at these conclusions shocking for its time. The work was rigorous and scientific and scardino completely the thought of then : for this, he was opposed for decades.
Today the Catholic Church also has rehabilitated by recognizing the validity of his theories. Studied medicine and theology and in 1831 embarked on the legendary Beagle and trip for five years collecting data and information needed to write in his work “The Origin of the species”.