Charles Darwin


Charles Darwin

"You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching, " Charles Darwin recalled his father once telling him, "and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family." It was an inauspicious beginning for one of history's greatest scientists.

From Hunting Dinosaurs by Louie Psihoyos

Charles Darwin's grandfather was Erasmus Darwin, the scientist, poet, inventor, doctor and polymath. One of Erasmus's sons, Charles, planned to become a doctor like his father, but he died from an infection after accidentally cutting himself during an autopsy. So Erasmus's younger son, Robert, dutifully followed in his older brother's footsteps. In turn, Robert expected his own son — whom he named after his late brother — to practice medicine, too. But the Charles Darwin who would become famous couldn't stomach cadaver dissection.Photograph y, either. In his autobiography, he recounted two occasions when he tried and failed to observe operations, and the patients' own suffering played a part, "this being long before the blessed days of chloroform." Perhaps it was then, realizing his son might never turn out to be a doctor, that the exasperated Robert Darwin delivered the rat-catching speech.

Charles Darwin's mother died when he was little and, though he was cared for by his older sisters, and close to his baby sister Catty, he was sent away to boarding school soon afterwards. The school was close to home, however, and the young Charles would walk home on the weekends to conduct chemistry experiments with his fun-loving brother Ras.Photograph re he found a mentor in the young professor John Henslow. Then Darwin got the chance to set sail aboard the Beagle. Despite misgivings about his son's lack of direction, Robert Darwin consented to let Charles go.Stamps idently selected the young man after interviewing several candidates.

FitzRoy had a good reason to select his co-traveler with care. The real role that person had to fill was saving him from suicidal despair. The need for such a lifeline wasn't as melodramatic as it might sound. A previous captain of the ship had killed himself at Tierra del Fuego, depressed by worthless charts, a sickly crew, and relentlessly miserable weather. And despite his own privileged background, FitzRoy feared he might do what some of his relatives had done; the family had a history of suicide. He arrived home intact, but many years after the voyage, FitzRoy did indeed take his own life.

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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform The Autobiography of Charles Darwin
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Does Washington Know Best?

by Truedizzle

"Charles Darwin wisely noted more than a century and a half ago that “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” Congress exudes confidence.
Suggesting that Congress and the president are ignorant of the fact that knowledge is highly dispersed and decisions made locally produce the best outcomes might be overly generous. It could be that they know they really don’t know what they’re doing but just don’t give a hoot because it’s in their political interest to centralize health care decision-making. Just as one example, how can Congress know whether buying a $4,000 annual health insurance policy would be the best use of healthy 25-year-old Joe Sanders’ earnings? Would he be better off purchasing a cheaper catastrophic health insurance policy and saving the...

— New Scientist
Before a visit from his friend the geologist Charles Lyell, Darwin wrote: "I will show you my pigeons! Which is the greatest treat, in my opinion, which ..

Charles Darwin: A Biography
Book (SAB)
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