Charles Darwin

Darwin, Charles Robert

Charles Robert Darwin, 1809–82, English naturalist, b. Shrewsbury; grandson of Erasmus Darwin and of Josiah Wedgwood. He firmly established the theory of organic evolution known as Darwinism. He studied medicine at Edinburgh and for the ministry at Cambridge but lost interest in both professions during the training. His interest in natural history led to his friendship with the botanist J. S. Henslow; through him came the opportunity to make a five-year cruise (1831–36) as official naturalist aboard the Beagle. This started Darwin on a career of accumulating and assimilating data that resulted in the formulation of his concept of evolution and his explication of natural and sexual selection. He spent the remainder of his life carefully and methodically working over the information from his copious notes and from every other available source.

Independently, the naturalist A. R. Wallace had worked out a concept of evolution similar to Darwin's. Wallace sent a paper outlining his theory to Darwin in 1858, and its striking coincidences with Darwin's work led Darwin's friends to move to assure that the more cautious Darwin, who had been slow to publish, would receive credit for the independence and priority of his ideas. The next year Darwin set forth the structure of his theory and massive support for it in the superbly organized On the Origin of Species, supplemented and elaborated in his many later books, notably The Descent of Man (1871). He also formulated a theory of the origin of coral reefs.

See J. T. Costa, ed, The Annotated Origin: A Facsimile of the First Edition of On the Origin of Species (2009), and G. Chancellor and J. Van Wyhe, ed. Charles Darwin's Notebooks from the Voyage of the Beagle (2009); his autobiography (ed. by N. Barlow, 1958) and Life and Letters (ed. by F. Darwin, 1887; repr. with intro. by G. G. Simpson, 1962); The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, ed. by F. Burkhardt and S. Smith (19 vol., 1985–), and letters of Darwin and Henslow, ed. by N. Barlow (1967); biographies by G. Wichler (tr. 1961), A. Desmond and J. Moore (1991), J. Browne (2 vol., 1995–2002), and P. Johnson (2012); J. Barzun, Darwin, Marx, Wagner (rev. ed. 1958);; A. Moorehead, Darwin and the Beagle (1969, rev. ed. 1979); P. Appleman, ed., Darwin (1970, repr. 1983); D. L. Hull, Darwin and His Critics (1983); R. J. Richards, Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior (1989); R. Dawkins, River Out of Eden (1995); D. C. Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995); N. Eldredge, Reinventing Darwin (1995); S. Jones, Darwin's Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated (2000); J. Browne, Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography (2008); A. Desmond and J. Moore, Darwin's Sacred Cause (2009, repr. 2011); R. Milner, Darwin's Universe (2009); G. Levine, Darwin the Writer (2011); R. Stott, Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution (2012).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Charles Darwin: Selected full-text books and articles

The Cambridge Companion to Darwin By Jonathan Hodge; Gregory Radick Cambridge University Press, 2003
The Origin of Species By Charles Darwin; Gillian Beer Oxford University Press, 1996
The Voyage of the Beagle By Charles Darwin Bantam Books, 1958
Charles Darwin and the Evolution Revolution By Rebecca Stefoff Oxford University Press, 1998
Charles Darwin: Genius or Plodder? By Wilkins, Adam S Genetics, Vol. 183, No. 3, November 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
A Book That Shook the World: Anniversary Essays on Charles Darwin's Origin of Species By Julian S. Huxley; Theodosius Dobzhansky; Reinhold Niebuhr; Oliver L. Reiser; Swami Nikhilananda University of Pittsburgh Press, 1958
Ever since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History By Stephen Jay Gould Norton, 1977
Librarian’s tip: Part I "Darwiniana"
Darwinism: Critical Reviews from Dublin Review, Edinburgh Review, Quarterly Review By Alfred Russell Wallace; Thomas Henry Huxley; James Rowland Angell; J. Mark Baldwin; Francis Galton; Daniel N. Robinson University Publications of America, 1977
Galileo, Darwin, and Hawking: The Interplay of Science, Reason, and Religion By Phil Dowe W.B. Eerdmans, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Creation and Evolution"
Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution By Gertrude Himmelfarb Doubleday, 1959
Darwin and Darwinism: The (Alleged) Social Implications of the Origin of Species By Orr, H. Allen Genetics, Vol. 183, No. 3, November 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Monkey Trials and Gorilla Sermons: Evolution and Christianity from Darwin to Intelligent Design By Peter J. Bowler Harvard University Press, 2007
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Darwin and His Bulldog"
Charles Darwin on Religion By Brooke, John Hedley Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Vol. 61, No. 2, June 2009
"This Reversed Order of Things": Re-Orientation aboard HMS Beagle By Harley, Alexis Biography, Vol. 29, No. 3, Summer 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Darwin and Romanticism By Beer, Gillian Wordsworth Circle, Vol. 41, No. 1, Winter 2010
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals By Charles Darwin Philosophical Library, 1955
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