Did Charles Darwin Realize the Importance of His Work?

Charles Darwin was a natural scientist in the 19th century, best known for his revolutionary theory of evolution. This theory was compiled with evidence from Darwin's research and published in 1859 in a book titled On the Origin of Species.

Darwin did know that his work would be important and controversial, in both scientific and religious circles. However, Darwin may not have realized how influential and popular his work would become. He did not attempt to preserve any original draft copies of the book.

The few sheets remaining in Cambridge University's collection of Darwin's manuscripts were kept because his children had drawn pictures on the blank sides.

More about Charles Darwin:

  • Darwin's wife, Emma Wedgewood, was a devout Unitarian and they frequently discussed in letters how his research might interact with the religious doctrine of the time. Her fear was that his possibly sacrilegious views might lead to their separation after death.

  • A survey conducted in 2014 placed On The Origin of Species as the second most significant book in the modern world, after the Bible.

  • Charles Darwin waited for almost 20 years to publish his theory. He was eventually prompted to do so when a fellow scientist, Alfred Russel Wallace, wrote to him with a similar theory. They went public with the theory together in 1858.

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