5 Resources About Charles Robert Darwin | Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by natural selection

5 Resources About Charles Robert Darwin

The Love Song Of Charles Robert Darwin, Pt. 1

The Love Song of Charles Robert Darwin at Erasmus had a son Robert, who fell in love with Josiah’s daughter Susannah, but the two friends advised them not to wed until Robert could support her.

Robert became a doctor and did well for himself, but Josiah died before they married. Susannah inherited £25, 000, equivalent to tens of millions today.

Robert and Susannah Darwin had six children. Charles was their youngest boy. Sadly, Susannah’s children would want for nothing, except her presence. She died when Charles was eight, and he recalled little of her. His two oldest sisters raised him.

Charles spent much of his childhood roaming the Shrewsbury countryside, rat-catching, collecting birds’ nests and hunting with his dogs. He attended boarding school in his teens, but was such a poor student that his father yanked him out at 16. Charles remembers:

Nothing could have been worse for the development of my mind than Dr. Butler’s school, as it was strictly classical, nothing else being taught, except a little ancient geography and history. The school as a means of education to me was simply a blank.

At wit’s end, Dr. Darwin dispatched Charles to the University of Edinburgh Medical School, where his older brother studied.

(What was Dr. Darwin thinking, sending a starry-eyed teenager to med school? Did his desire to have both sons follow in his footsteps overruled his common sense, or did he hope Charles would rise to the challenge?)

The Med School Dropout

Charles hated medical school. The operating theater horrified him:

I . . . saw two very bad operations, one on a child, but I rushed away before they were completed. Nor did I ever attend again, for hardly any inducement would have been strong enough to make me do so; this being long before the blessed days of chloroform. The two cases fairly haunted me for many a long year.

Instead, Charles combed tide pools with his zoology professor, attended natural history club lectures (where John James Audubon spoke) and apprenticed himself to taxidermist John Edmonstone, a freed slave, whom he greatly admired: “…he was a very pleasant and intelligent man.”

Old Dr. Darwin discovered that his son was skiving off and gave Charles an ultimatum. He would go to Cambridge and study for the clergy. Then, at least, he’d have a respectable post from which to pursue his little hobbies.

(At this point, I almost admire Dr. Darwin’s efforts to keep his son from trust fund slacker-dom.)

From Chasing Rats To Sucking Beetles

At Cambridge, Charles didn’t enroll for a theology degree, since the Church of England only required a basic BA and doctrinal study. He struggled through required Classics and mathematics courses, but excelled in botany and zoology.




Quotations from the Freedom Crowd

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- Martin Luther King Jr.
'However sugarcoated and ambiguous, every form of authoritarianism must start with a belief in some group's greater right to power, whether that right is justified by sex, race, class, religion, or all four. However far it may expand, the progression inevitably rests on unequal power and airtight roles within the family.'
- Gloria Steinem
'...the world's 358 billionaires ... have more assets than the combined incomes of countries representing nearly half -- 45 per cent -- of the planet's population.'
David Usborne in New York reporting on the UN's 1996 Human Development Report
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