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Development of charles darwin

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Development of charles darwin

In the development of any one person, the people who touch their lives, in and out, day after day, and the thoughts and feelings that they stirred are summed and that quantity represents a large portion of the individual. When looking at the development of someone with as great an impact as Charles Darwin, the people with whom he kept aqaintence shine right through. From the love and support of family, to the help and guidance of friends, Charles Darwin had it all, and yet suffered all alone in his genius for years. The people who he encountered sculpted the man that we know of as Charles Darwin, out of a failure at schooling and a timid bearer of the theory that toppled Biblical science forever.

Where did it all begin? What was the factor that started the ball rolling, and gave it the momentum to keep lurching ahead? "As a distraction from his sister's regime, Charles played solitary games in the vast family home. His father had become interested in the fashionable study of natural history and there were rooms full of exotic collections, stuffed animals and old bones. A massive greenhouse attached to the side of the house was a veritable jungle to a young boy and it was in this environment of learned eccentricity and an unforced seeking of knowledge that Darwin's fascination for natural history and biology began." (D 6) However, growing up in the family home of Dr. Robert Darwin, was not exactly the most pleasant aspect of young Charles Darwin's life.

After the death of his mother, Charles had become rather listless and buried himself in his work or in the pursuits of wealthy youth. The time after the loss of him mother was a wasted period spent in an institution which did not foster nor nurture the scientist we know of as Charles Darwin. The time he spent at Shrewsbury School was in Darwin's own words useless, however it seemed to act as a time for him to accomplish two very important habits. Primarily Darwin took the time to get closer to his brother, Erasmus. Charles' elder by four years, Erasmus became his best friend as the explored the sciences, something that Srewsbury school was seriously deficient in. At this time Darwin also sought the comfort found in the analysis of the natural world. "About the time he began at Shrewsbury, Charles took to going on long, solitary walks in the nearby countryside." (D 9) However silently and patiently his love of nature crept upon Darwin he absorbed it all the same, and with the help of his brother's love for chemistry, the two blended perfectly.

The homogenization of Darwin's newly found interest in the physical sciences and analytical theory (helped by their father's gift of a chemical laboratory) with the slow and patient love of the natural world had repercussions felt around the globe. From playing with chemicals and earning the nickname of "Gas", to trips to the countryside, the young Darwin had been properly exposed to that which would become his lifelong burden: scientific thought and reason. Convinced that the Shrewsbury School was a waste of time for his son's education, Robert removed Charles and took him under his own wing in the position of his medical apprentice. After a summer of moderately successful medical training, Robert sent Charles to Edinburgh to study medicine with his brother Erasmus. Edinburgh proved to be yet another one of the major steps for Darwin on the road to his own enlightenment. The Plinian society taught Darwin to worry about the acceptance of a theory which was not really received very well. Seeing his comrade's paper struck from the records of the society perhaps caused Charles to fear the effects of a theory that was not properly received. The influence of Robert Grant helped to sure the growth of a nonconformist nature in Charles. However later in his life, after returning from the fateful voyage of the Beagle Darwin may have been sorry to have formed a relationship with Grant. "His old mentor in Edinburgh, the outspoken Robert Grant, would have been receptive [to his new theory] but would have also been the worst possible person with whom to confide. Grant was a natural revolutionary and partly brought about his own academic and social suicide by having no regard for whom he talked to and what he declared in public." (D 107) As Darwin grew as a scientist he became more and more frightened of the effects of his alternative theories would have on his social standing.

However before we err in the way of jumping ahead of ourselves, let us look at the fateful voyage of the Beagle. Darwin's pessimism and own lack of self-esteem would have kept him away from the voyage, had it not been for his father's closest friend Jos Wedgwood. Jos assisted Charles in writing a letter to his father detailing the need for the voyage. While the voyage was certainly no place for the newly becoming clergyman that Charles was supposed to be, his father accented to the idea, and allowed him both the time and the funds to go along as ship's naturalist aboard the Beagle.

This is the point in Charles' life where he first meets Captain FitzRoy. Later to become a thorn in Darwin's side, FitzRoy seeks Darwin as a friend and a comrade as well as the scientist that his expedition needed. FitzRoy played a crucial role as the Devil's advocate in the eyes of Darwin. later to argue that Darwin had not come up with any sound findings during his voyage on the Beagle, FitzRoy was certain to fall victim to the inherited traight of suicide. Perhaps his death was because of the stress imposed by Darwin, or perhaps it was only an illustration of the shortcomings in his own personality.

On page 55 of the book Darwin: a life in science their relationship was described as thus: "The two men had views representing the polar opposites of the time. On the one hand, Darwin, sometimes described as a mutaphiliac because of his ability to embrace change, and on the other, FitzRoy, the mutaphobe, a man who wished to maintain the status quo, a fundamentalist christian and a believer in the natural superiority if whites over all other races. Living together in such a close proximity on board the same tiny vessel, arguments were inevitable." How could it be said any better? FitzRoy and the High Tories of that time enraged the sensible Darwin and in his own words from The Voyage of the Beagle states what he thinks of the whole concept of slavery "'It makes one's ...

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