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Upon graduation he did not have strong enough grades to secure employment, however, he was offered a position as ship's naturalist aboard the H. Most Europeans at the time saw the bible as the infallible and literal word of God.This included the belief that the world was created in seven days and that Earth was only a few thousand years old, but on his journey aboard the Beagle Darwin saw evidence which seemed to contradict this.
In 1839, three years after completing his journey, he married his cousin Emma Wedgewood.
He spent more than twenty years refining his theories on natural selection and evolution over time before publishing On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life (1859), commonly referred to as The Origin of Species.
From 1849, he stopped going to church, though he never considered himself to be an atheist.
He felt that ‘agnostic’ suited his beliefs more closely.
Includes the great poets – William Shakespeare, William Blake and William Wordsworth.
Charles Darwin was born on 12 February 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire to Robert Waring Darwin and of Susannah Wedgwood.His grandfather Josiah Wedgewood was a well known china manufacturer and his other grandfather Erasmus Darwin was a physician, poet and one of the leading intellectuals of the time. The Beagle set sail from England on December 27th 1831 on what was to be a five year journey.Darwin had planned medicine, but in 1828 at the insistence of his father switched to the study of divinity at Christ's College, Cambridge University. It was on this voyage and, in particular his time on the Galapagos Islands 500 miles east of South America, that the idea of Natural Selection he would present in the Origin of Species began to take shape.He wrote in his autobiography that he eventually gave up Christianity as he disagreed with the conclusion that all non-believers spend eternity in hell.“I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished.”“I have watched how steadily the general feeling, as shown at elections, has been rising against Slavery.What a proud thing for England if she is the first European nation which utterly abolishes it!At the time, religion was a powerful force in society, and most people took the Bible as the infallible, literal word of God.This included the belief that God created the world in seven days, and the world was only a few thousand years old.On the voyage, Darwin made copious notes about specimens he found on his voyages.In particular, at the Galapagos Islands 500 miles west of South America, Darwin was struck by how the Finch was different on each individual island.However, on the voyage, Darwin increasingly began to see evidence of life being much older.In particular Lyell’s ‘Principles of Geology’ suggested that fossils were evidence of animals living hundreds of thousands of years ago.