DARWIN was born in the English town of ShrewsburyDARWIN was born in the English town of Shrewsbury
February, 1809),February, 1809),
200 years ago. Our greatgrandparent's grandparents200 years ago. Our greatgrandparent's grandparents
In that time thereIn that time there
weren't anyweren't any
And tuenti didn'tAnd tuenti didn't
The mail wasn'tThe mail wasn't
There were noThere were no
telephones ortelephones or
And the ships didn'tAnd the ships didn't
have an enginehave an engine
* Darwin's family was as
strange and interesting as
their insects and pigeons
* This is his grandfather,
ERASMUS DARWIN so
famous as a doctor that
George III, the king, invited
him to be his personal
doctor, but Darwin
*Darwin's grandfather was
What Erasmus Darwin loved more was nature
and its origin, this means natural history.
• In this book calledIn this book called
ZOONOMY he defendedZOONOMY he defended
that all living beingsthat all living beings
EVOLVED to perfection.EVOLVED to perfection.
• That idea was against theThat idea was against the
church ideas in that time.church ideas in that time.
a very sensitive
person, and an
active member of
Darwin said that there
might be more cultured
people, but his father was
the smartest person he
had ever known.
In that inusual family
tolerant and free,
the young Darwin grew
His father, the doctor Robert Darwin, wasn't aHis father, the doctor Robert Darwin, wasn't a
religious believer at all.religious believer at all.
Darwin's father wanted his son to be a doctor, as allDarwin's father wanted his son to be a doctor, as all
the family had been, and decided to take him tothe family had been, and decided to take him to
his medical visits to get him used to it.his medical visits to get him used to it.
When he was 16 his father sent him to Edimburgh toWhen he was 16 his father sent him to Edimburgh to
study medicinestudy medicine..
BUT DARWIN SAID:
“The classes at 8 AM are a
and he added…
“I can't bear the sight of
… bad situation for
someone who was
going to be a
Darwin didn't study so much but…Darwin didn't study so much but…
He learnt to dissect
birds with a black
taxidermist who was
And he got really
interested in biology
The young DarwinThe young Darwin
Darwin wasn't a good student, but he wasDarwin wasn't a good student, but he was
extremely interested in nature, plants andextremely interested in nature, plants and
animals… and in his collections.animals… and in his collections.
In reference to his
He didn't do very well,
but he used to go to
the Scientific Society’s
And when he was 18,
he gave his first lecture
about leech larvae.
In the end he gave up
His father conviced him to
study to be a vicar. Charles
Darwin believed in God and
being a vicar was a very
respectable job that might
allow him some time to be
able to investigate.
Charles went to live in the
country and he dedicated
part of his time hunting and
studying the Natural History.
And he went to
He was going to study to
be a vicar for the anglican
At that time most teachers preferred religion
to science or new ideas.
He met Henslow (His professor of
•The theology classes were
usually boring, so on Fridays
he attended Henslow´ s
classes that were quite
different. As a teacher, both in
the classroom and in the field,
he was eminently successful
•Henslow was an inquiring scientist at
heart and did things such as looking
after a botanical garden in
Cambridge or improving agriculture
and farming by teaching the villagers.
Henslow was the person who invited Darwin to
participate on the trip around the world on the H.M.S.
Beagle. From 1831 to 1836 Darwin served as naturalist
aboard the H.M.S. Beagle on a British science expedition
around the world.
He was 22 years old.
Unfortunately 3 of the 5 years, he had to be inland (He
got very ill on the ship)
He dedicated that time to think, write and pick up
more plants, minerals and animals.
Darwin was fascinated in particular by the land
tortoises and marine iguanas in the Galápagos.
Giant tortoises varied in predictable ways from one
island to another.
The shape of a tortoise's shell could be used to
identify which island a particular tortoise inhabited.
He observed much variation in related or similar
species of plants and animals that were
geographically isolated from each other.
These observations were the basis for his ideas.
In the Galápagos he also observed the small
differences between the species of the finches.
• He observed earthquakes, fossils or shells at sea level, even
coral islands that had sunk.
Darwin agreed with Lyell: the world is formed by gradual
changes, sometimes sudden, about a permanent change.
In his house in 1836 Darwin ordered and classified his
collection because Henslow guided all his research,
He gave conferences
about fossils and reefs
and he had scientific
meetings with his
friends Lyell, Owen,
He wrote a report
about the coral
In 1837 Darwin started writing his “Diary of a
voyage on the Beagle”.
It was the best well known voyage book in the 19th
That year Gould told
Darwin that the finches
that Darwin had given
him from three different
islands of the
Galapagos, belonged to
three different species.
So they were not three
varieties of the same
species, as Darwin
And he concluded
that a new
evolve if that
species is isolated
from its own
Then if the three species of finches from the Galapago islands
come from a common ancestor…
all the finches of America come from a common species
Hypothesis: Separate species may have arose from an
IT is the EVOLUTION tree .
Species alive today descended with modification from species
that lived in the past.
All organisms on earth are united into a single family tree of
life by common descent
And so on……..
Darwin read Malthus, who considered that human beings will
grow in a geometrical progression while the food grows in
aritmethical progression. In the end there will be more people than
food. And the excess of people will be reduced due to famine,
diseases or wars.
Darwin was surprised with the ideas of Malthus, because he saw
the big force of nature. A lot of creatures multiply in great
amounts, but only a few survive.
Observation 1: Organisms generally have more
offspring than can survive to adulthood.
Observation 2: Offspring are not identical. There
is variation in their appearance, size, and other
Inference: Those organisms that are better
adapted to their environment have a greater
likelihood of surviving to adulthood and passing
these characteristics on to their offspring.
Survival of the “fittest
This can be applied to all living beings:
When there are bad conditions only those who adapt better are
able to survive. For example, in a bird community not all of them
are equal, those ones with a harder beak, and those who are
more able to change their diet and eat seeds, will survive better
and will reproduce more, and transmit that ability to their
• “I have called this
principle, by which
each slight variation, if
useful, is preserved, by the
term Natural Selection.”
—Charles Darwin from "The
Origin of Species“, 1859
This is the
Aged 30, Darwin
married his cousin,
They had 10 children
and lived happily in their
house near Kent county.
Emma was very o
religious and asked Darwin
in a letter to consider
changing his vision about
Darwin didn't accept but
he cried each time he saw
In 1844 he wrote to his wife:
“I have just finished the sketch
of the species theory.
Please, publish it if I die”.
And he wrote to a botanist
friend, Hooker: ” I am
watching the light coming
and I' m convinced
(disagreeing with my initial
thinking) that the species are
Only his scientific
colleagues knew a part of
his work that still took 15
years to be finished and
Darwin was hesitant to
publish his theories because of
the violent reactions that
previous authors had received.
•He wanted that time and that
energy to continue
investigating, storing more data,
•Another disadvantage was an
illness he had been suffering
since he got back to Britain: he
suffered from frequent
headaches, vomiting, shivers
But in 1858 the naturalist Wallace
,from Malayo islands sent him a paper
with the main elements of Darwin's
Wallace asked Darwin to read it, to
know if he agreed with it to publish it.
Wallace had discovered Darwin's secret!
•Darwin, with a strong sense of honour,
arranged for a simultaneous reading of
his and Wallace’s papers before the
The readings were met with silence, so
Darwin published the full text of his
…then it hit the fan.
Darwin wrote a new version of his
book “Origin of the species”
It was published in 1859, and
became “the book that revolutionized
The first day all the books were sold.
There were crowds of people waiting
for the coming of more books.
In Darwin’s lifetime he would be
recognized as one of the great
masters of science. By the 1870s
almost all serious scientists in
England had accepted evolution.
It was translated into 30 languages
but it didn't come to Spain until
1877, but its controversy arrived
Wallace was very elegant: he accepted
Darwin's supremacy and he called
“darwinism” the new theory.
In the 20th century, advances in
palaeontology and genetics reinforced
and completed the original theory . It's
the current Theory of Neodarwinism.
“Nothing has any
sense in biology if it is
not considered under
the eyes of evolution".
Darwin was responsible for a very clear difference
between society before and after his book's publications.
Fights between evolutionists and creationists had started. Some
people said church couldn't agree with the evolutionism and
believe in God at the same time.
In those times, almost everyone, the “Official Science”In those times, almost everyone, the “Official Science” included,included,
thought that the world was like God had made it the day ofthought that the world was like God had made it the day of
CREATION,CREATION, just 6,000 years ago!just 6,000 years ago!
Today we know that the Earth is 4600 million years old.Today we know that the Earth is 4600 million years old.
Nowadays fundamentalist religious societies still think in aNowadays fundamentalist religious societies still think in a
similar way and try to attack evolutionism with a false science,similar way and try to attack evolutionism with a false science,
known asknown as Intelligent DesignIntelligent Design, a modern creationism ., a modern creationism .
Some radical evolutionists have defended theSome radical evolutionists have defended the
natural selection and the survival of the fittest tonatural selection and the survival of the fittest to
explain the domination of some men above others.explain the domination of some men above others.
This is called Social Darwinism and those whoThis is called Social Darwinism and those who
defend it say: “defend it say: “If natural selection works with theIf natural selection works with the
wildlife why not in society?”wildlife why not in society?”
Although his work caused a great
controversy , Darwin didn't stop
receiving honours and distinctions
until his death in 1882, aged 73.
He was buried in Westminster
Abbey, next to Isaac Newton’s
It is the maximun honour that an
Englishman can receive after his
universities all over
the world have his
Today we celebrate
200 YEARS of that THEORY
which is so important for
Happily and without any
THE IES LLANES HISTORY WORKSHOP
DEDICATES THIS WORK TO THE
TEACHERS: MANUEL F. BORDAS and
2009 Charles Darwin's Bicentenary