AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Charles Darwin (1809-1882), British naturalist. Darwin had briefly studied medicine and then trained in the clergy, but his interest was in natural history. In 1831 he set sail as naturalist on HMS Beagle, which was to provide the fieldwork for his famous book. His theory of evolution was published as 'On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection' (1859). It caused a storm of controversy with Christian orthodoxy, as it contradicted the widely accepted belief that different animal and plant species were created by a divine creator (God).
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