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Portrait of the English naturalist Charles (Robert) Darwin (1809-1882). In 1831 Darwin embarked on a naval expedition that lasted for five years and took him around the Southern hemisphere. Darwin published his observations on animals and plants in two books, the Voyage of the Beagle and Origin of Species that were destined to shake the world. He proposed that all plant and animal species undergo variations with time induced by the changing environment in which they live. The concept of evolving species could also be applied to the human, implying no need for a divine creation and suggesting a slow evolution from our ancestors, the apemen, to the present age.
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