Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Chagas Disease. Charles Darwin was quite sick in his later years. He is now believed to have caught Chagas Disease while in South America. This disease is caused by the bite of of a certain bug.
Alfred Wallace. Alfred Wallace also had come up with a theory of evolution similar to Darwin's. They both produced papers but in the end it was Darwin who went ahead and published his research. John Henslow and Adam Sedgwick were both naturalists who taught Darwin at Cambridge University. Joseph Banks was a well known Australian botanist.
Beagle. Darwin was an unpaid scientist aboard the Beagle. It was his job to study rocks and plants and animals on the journey. Unfortunately, Darwin was seasick for the start of the journey but overcame this.
|Charles had two famous grandfathers. One was Josiah Wedgwood on his mother's side, famous for pottery manufacturing. Who was the well known scientist on his father's side?||Charles Darwin and the Theory of Evolution
Erasmus . Erasmus was known for his strange ideas, a bit like Charles at the time, and possibly pondered a little on the science of evolution for a while. Another of his whacky interests was air travel.
|Darwin wrote a book about the origin of man, which was as controversial as "On the Origin of Species". What was the title?||Charles Darwin
The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. This book, published in 1871, also included Darwin's first defense of his original work on evolution, published 12 years before.
|While Darwin was slowly writing his most famous book, another scientist developed a theory of evolution that was almost identical to the one defended by Darwin. Who was this scientist?||Charles Darwin
Alfred Russell Wallace. Working in Malaysia, Wallace created a theory of evolution that was almost identical to Darwin's. The risk of having Wallace present the theory first was one of the things that made Darwin hurry the publishing of his work.
|The man who invented the word "Dinosaurus" (dinosaur) was a great critic of Darwin's theory. Who was this?||Charles Darwin
Richard Owen. Owen had worked in collaboration with Darwin, studying many of the fossils that he brought from South America during his expedition on the "Beagle". After "On the Origin of Species" was published, he was one of the first to publicly criticise Darwin's theory.
|The work of a famous geologist was fundamental to Darwin's theory of evolution. Who was that geologist?||Charles Darwin
Charles Lyell. Lyell took the view that the forces such as volcanism, weather and erosion, earthquakes etc. that contributed to the Earth we have to today are the same as those currently forming in nature. All it takes is a very long period of time to bring about those changes.
After reading about this, Darwin slowly understood that the same principle could be true for living organisms.
|What was the acknowledged short title of Darwin's ground-breaking book, in which he presented his theory of evolution? ||Charles Darwin
On the Origin of Species. The full title is "On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life". The book was published in November 1859 and changed the world forever.
|The captain of the "Beagle" came to be a good friend of Darwin, although their opinions were usually the opposite. What was the captain's name? ||Charles Darwin
Captain Robert Fitzroy. Captain Fitzroy was very conservative, and defended a literal interpretation of the Bible. He never accepted Darwin's position about the evolution of life.
|Before setting out on his great voyage in the "Beagle", which occupation was he expected to enter?||Charles Darwin
Rural cleric. Pressed by his family, Darwin was ready to live a quiet life as a cleric in a rural area. This would allow him to continue his studies of natural history, while allowing him to live a "respectable life".
|In 1825, Darwin went to college, to study medicine. At which university did he study?||Charles Darwin
Edinburgh. Later, Darwin studied in Cambridge where he met John Henslow, a great friend and mentor.
|One of his close relatives was also a naturalist, and someone who defended the idea of evolution. Who was it?||Charles Darwin
Erasmus Darwin, grandfather. Erasmus Darwin was a well-known doctor, but also a naturalist and was well known as a poet. His book "Zoonomia" defended a form of evolution similar to Lamarckism.
12 February 1809. He was the son of Robert Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood.
|Twenty years after his time on Galapagos, Darwin hastily wrote, "On The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," when young biologist Alfred Russell Wallace sent his own independently-reached theory to Darwin for review. To Darwin's horror, Wallace's theory mirrored his own. In 1859, how was the theory of natural selection received by Darwin's peers and the general public?||Charles Robert Darwin
The reviews were mixed. It seems that most people either embraced it completely or rejected it in its entirety.. Reviews were certainly mixed. Darwin, in fact, was aware of the uproar that might ensue and was prepared for whatever reaction the book received: he left for a spa retreat with his family for weeks surrounding the release of the book. The first edition of his book, 1,250 copies, sold out the first day. A second edition was printed almost immediately and translation into German and eventually other languages started. At one point, a rather spirited four hour debate took place between Darwin's supporters and antagonists following a university lecture. It got rather dynamic and was punctuated by a fainting woman. Both sides claimed they won the debate. Darwin wasn't even there.
|Charles Darwin married Emma Wedgewood in 1839. A very religious woman, she feared her husband's salvation was in jeopardy due to the ideas he had begun to theorize. How did Charles and Emma meet?||Charles Robert Darwin
They were first cousins.. It was acceptable at that time to marry a cousin.
|Darwin collected various specimens of birds while on Galapagos, as well as having a multitude of sketches and notes. While he thought he had several different species of birds, it wasn't until a few years later that a bird specialist examined Darwin's evidence and concluded that all the birds were different species of finches and each species was isolated on its own island. What was it about the finches that became intriguing to Darwin?||Charles Robert Darwin
Each finch species had a specialized beak that allowed it to expertly feed on the food source available on its respective island.. Each finch species developed a beak that was ideally suited for type of food available on its respective island.
The Galapagos Islands were a prime source of food. The giant tortoises could be brought on board and kept alive for months, allowing the crew to eat fresh food even though out at sea for extended periods time.. 50 giant tortoises were taken onboard the HMS Beagle, who felt the tortoises were simply an endless food source. Like almost every other animal on the Galapagos Islands, the giant tortoise has no natural land predators on Galapagos. The wildlife on the islands was and is still remarkably tame. The iguanas, birds, tortoises, lizards, bats, geckos, rats, penguins, sea lions and seals are all tame, fearless and completely approachable by humans.
Darwin was to be a scholarly companion to the ship's captain.. As was customary for that time period, a British captain never interacted socially with his crew. The voyage would be a lonely one for the captain with no one to talk to. Darwin was invited along to provide scholarly and stimulating conversation. The two men got along quite well, as a matter of fact, except for an instance when Darwin tried to convince the captain that treating human slaves as property was wrong. The captain was incensed, but later apologized to Darwin. Darwin did later publish a paper outlining the reasons why slavery was reprehensible and repulsive.
|Darwin's oceanic voyage took place on the HMS Beagle, a ship commissioned to survey the coast of South America. How long was the voyage?||Charles Robert Darwin
4 years and 9 months, almost 2 years longer than expected.. The voyage was intended to last three years, but extended nearly two years beyond its expected end. During this time, Darwin sent multiple packages of animal and plant samples and as well as his detailed notes and drawings back to colleagues in England.
|Prior to a 5 year ship voyage that included the legendary visit to the Pacific islands, Charles Darwin stopped his studies to become a priest. What other areas of study did he never complete?||Charles Robert Darwin
He dropped out of medical school to avoid failing out.. Darwin was not terribly motivated when studying topics that did not interest him. His father was quite concerned that young Charles would amount to nothing and would cause much embarrassment to the Darwin family name. Imagine that!