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Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, in 1809. His family was known for having scientists. Robert Darwin, his father was a physician, his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was also a scientist. Darwin's father wanted him and his brother to follow into the medical fields. When Darwin was a child he was very interested in living things; he read many books on geology and biology. He also collected plants, animal specimens and fossils. In 1825 Darwin started his medical studies at the University if Edinburgh. He was distracted from his medical studies for his interest in natural history. He was only at Edinburgh for only two years. Two years later Darwin enrolled in Christ's College, Cambridge to study theology, were he received a degree in 1831. During the time of Darwin's young life when he was deciding what to do with his life he came in contact with John Henslow, a professor at Cambridge. Henslow recommend that Darwin take the position on a British Navy survey ship in 1831. Darwin traveled around the world on the H.M.S. Beagle. His job was to make observation on plants and animals found in the places where the ship docked. Darwin was fond of the Galapagos Islands, in South America. The Galapagos Islands is where he found that each island had a different kind of marine iguana, tortoise and different kinds of finch. Darwin observed that in each of the different islands that the related species adapted differently to its island. In 1836 Darwin returned to England. When Darwin returned to England he studied the information that he collected on the voyage. From these observations and collections he proposed the theory of natural selection. The theory of natural selection is that plants and animals are always competing for food and other resources to survive. Plants and animals, which are better able to obtain these resources, are more likely to prosper and reproduce. Plants and animals that have difficulty getting resources will have less to reproduce and are more likely to become extinct over time. The animals that are born with an advantage over other animals are more likely to reproduce and have further generations. Darwin's theories had much controversy. One theory says that "natural selection" was the way in which all life on earth had common ancestors, therefore man had descended from apes. This theory in the mid 1800's went against what people had learned from their religion. Darwin did not come up with the idea of evolution; yet he was not alone in this theory, but he was the first to explain how evolution worked. . A young naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, another English man, had come up with a similar theory. The ironic thing about Darwin and Wallace was that their theories were conceived around the same time. Wallace sent a copy of his paper to receive Darwin's opinion. The two of them did not fight on who would get credit, they did decide to team up. In July 1, 1858 Darwin combined his thoughts with Wallace's and presented them to a meeting of the Linnaean Society. The following year Darwin published "The Origin of Species." This book was a success; it sold out the first day that it was printed. Alo

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