Charles Darwin was a very influential man who changed the hearts and minds of both scientist and average citizens for ages to come. His discoveries in evolution and natural selection were accepted by the scientific community soon after publication, but were strongly condemned by the Church. He was and will likely continue to be an inspiration for scientists of the past, present, and future.     Charles Darwin was born into a wealthy family in 1809 to Robert and Susannah Darwin. He and his five siblings went to their local Unitarian chapel even though he was baptized Anglican at St. Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury. In 1825, Darwin decided to become an apprentice doctor. He and his father treated the poor people of Shropshire. He then went to the University of Edinburgh Medical School, which was the most prestigious medical school in England at the time. After abandoning his dreams of becoming a doctor, Darwin studied taxidermy under John Edmonstone, a former slave who recounted his adventures in the rainforests of South America with Charles Waterton.    At the University of Edinburgh Medical School, Darwin joined the Plinian Society. This group of intellectuals met up, read and discussed various papers about natural science, and critiqued experts’ papers. Darwin began to take more of an interest in natural after joining the Plinian Society. During his time in this group, he discovered that cilia moved Flustra and that skate leeches’ eggs resided in oyster shells.     On December 27th, 1831, Darwin embarked on a five-year journey aboard the HMS Beagle with the intent to chart South America’s coastline. Darwin was recruited by John Henslow, who he had met at Christ’s College, to join the expedition as a naturalist.     Darwin’s family history explains his abolitionist beliefs. His grandfathers on both his father’s and mother’s sides (Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood) were outspoken abolitionists who argued vehemently against slavery.  

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