It was on this date, February 12, 1809 (the same date as American politician Abraham Lincoln), that British naturalist Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury. He was set to study theology at Christ’s College, Cambridge, but gave it up for a chance to study nature aboard the HMS Beagle, during a voyage to Patagonia (South America) and back. The 1831 to 1836 voyage was a life-changing experience for Darwin: his collection and analysis of specimens from nature across a wide area of the earth led to his formulation and publication of the theory of evolution by natural selection.
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Originally published February 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.