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The Controversy Continues : Charles Darwin

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:30 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 56.5 
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Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of the Species, which laid out his theory of evolution. His ideas revolutionized science, but also created a controversy that still continues to this day. Unlike some figures who took a stand in history, he was uncomfortable with the controversy he created. Charles Darwin published the Origin finding it compatible with his faith, but many Christians didn’t think that was the case. The Origin of the Species sparked a debate between science and religion that has lasted for 150 years.

Darwin did not become a naturalist early. His father wanted him to become a doctor, or a clergyman. However, Darwin was drawn to nature. Charles Robert Darwin was born on February 12, 1809. At the age of nine, a year after his mother’s death, Charles   was sent to join his brother at the Shrewsbury School, a nearby boarding school with a good reputation. Shrewsbury had a very strict headmaster and large dormitory rooms that housed a large number of boys. Charles hated it there and spent as much time away from the school as possible. He and his brother Erasmus constructed a chemistry lab in their garden shed where they spent much of their time. Charles also spent time hunting, fishing, and collecting beetles.

When Charles was sixteen, his father sent him to Edinburgh to study as a doctor, in accordance with family tradition. However, after two years there, it was obvious that he was not suited to a doctor’s life. Charles found the surgery performed on children without the use of anesthesia too sickening to watch and he left at the age of 18.

His father, disappointed that his son would not follow in his footsteps, acquired a position for Charles at Christ’s College, Cambridge, to study for the clergy. Charles Darwin was bored there, and attended lectures on subjects such as zoology, geology and botany. He passed his final exam with good grades, but thought of himself as a naturalist instead of a clergyman.

On August 24, 1831,...

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