Charles Darwin's impact upon our world.

Essay by agileHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2002

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There are few great thinkers that have left a truly fundamental and astounding impact on the world, and Charles Darwin is one of them. Darwin was born in 1809 and until around 1830 he planned to become a clergyman of the Church of England. While at the University of Cambridge, as he was preparing to become a clergyman, he met Adam Sedgwick, a geologist, and John Stevens Henslow, a naturalist. Both of these associates sparked Darwin's first interest in the sciences. In 1831 Darwin boarded the English ship HMS Beagle to be an unpaid naturalist on a scientific expedition that would go around the world. It was on this journey that the first sparks of Darwin's revolutionary idea were lit. Darwin's influence on the world was vast and his concepts included exemplified applied rational thinking to the natural world resulting in his groundbreaking theory of evolution and natural selection. In a larger sense he opened people's horizons and stimulated a new way of thinking without the compulsion to integrate beliefs into their observations of the natural world.

On Darwin's journey aboard the Beagle he observed different living organisms and fossils that were found on numerous islands and continents. Darwin was struck by how natural forces played a part in shaping the earth's surface. He also noticed a variety of different examples that contributed to his theory of evolution, such as the fact that certain fossils of species thought to be extinct were very similar to organisms that were currently living. While visiting the Galapagos Islands, Darwin made the observation that played the most important role in the development of his theory. Each of the numerous islands had animals that were slightly different from those on the other islands. Although closely related, there were slight differences such as body structure or...