Charles Darwin: How He Changed Society and History Forever

Born12th of February, 1809
Died19th of April, 1882
Famous Quote“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
Known ForCircumnavigating the globe, Publication of natural theory law, ushering in an age of science in society.
Region of WorldEngland, 19th century

In the 19th century an English biologist by the name of Charles Darwin would publish a theory that would forever change the history and society of the world.

Within his book On the Origin of Species Charles Darwin would provide credible proof for his theory of evolution. This directly challenged the then dominant paradigm of creator will. Because of this Charles Darwin changed history and society.

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Without further ado, here is how Charles Darwin changed history and society forever.

Charles Darwin and His Theory of Evolution

Charles Darwin himself was born into a wealthy English family who wished for him to follow in the family’s business of being a doctor. However from an early age Darwin’s curiosity would drive him instead to become a biologist.

While studying to become a doctor at the University of Edinburgh Darwin would routinely leave his classes to study nature instead. As a result he would be invited to study at Cambridge in the field of natural science.

From here he would be invited to attend a five year voyage around the world aboard the HMS Beagle. While on this voyage Darwin would begin to notice that species living in isolated spaces of the world failed to evolve in a similar fashion to the rest.

In March of 1837 Darwin theorized that since all species appear to evolve in relation to their environment then it was impossible to have a hierarchy of animals as previously thought.

This was groundbreaking and forever changed history and the society of the world.

How The Theory of Evolution Changed Society Forever

Before Darwin published his book On the Origin of Species in 1859 western society was built around the medieval belief that humans were divinely created.

Further, that humans were created to be master’s over all animals and that this naturally explained mankind’s rise to power over history.

Naturally this gave established institutions throughout the Latin west power over creation and as a result the world of science.

Simply put, before Darwin society was told that the world as a whole was set aside for man to rule. That whoever set this world aside instilled a hierarchy to the world. There were rulers, then the clergy, and finally the common man.

Society before the discoveries of Darwin was built around this power dynamic. Few dared to question the power that established institutions possessed within society.

This drastically changed in the years following Darwin’s publication On the Origin of Species in 1859. In this book Darwin provided concrete evidence that all biological life on Earth evolved independently from one another according to their direct environment.

Charles Darwin was careful to leave out human evolution in his first publication. However the damage was done. By 1870 most of the world’s scientific society had come to believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Nearly overnight Charles Darwin was attacked and ridiculed by reviews who claimed that Darwin’s work was speculative in nature. One reviewer stated that Darwin’s work was too dangerous for general society and should only be read by theologians.

Charles Darwin himself suffered from failing health and constant illness. For as much pain as this caused him it also gave him an excuse to remove himself from public life. Instead opting for daytime walks Darwin would continue to publish and promote his work.

From 1859 onwards Darwin’s theory of evolution forever changed society. Subsequent academics would build upon his work to explain prehistoric man, natural selection, and biological preferences.

How The Theory of Evolution Changed History Forever

While Darwin’s work was restructuring society it had a significantly larger impact upon history.

From 1860-1900 academics from around the world were reviewing history and how they can interpret it. Examples of this can be seen in Charles Lyell’s Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man. Within this work Lyell theorized that mankind was significantly older than previously thought.

During the time of Darwin mankind was thought to only be a couple thousand years old. Lyell demonstrated that the history of man is far older than that.

Another example of how Darwin forever changed history can be seen in his influence in Henry Bates’s The Naturalist on the River Amazons. Within Bate’s work he further demonstrates that Darwin’s theory of evolution is correct by using the amazon river to provide examples of evolution by natural selection.

Simply put, Darwin’s influence directly resulted in a complete change in how history was interpreted and written forever. Now academics and historians could account for millions of years of evolution by incorporating Darwin’s theory.

As a result Darwin forever changed how we view history. Now instead of mankind only being a couple thousand years old we now know that the history of man extends back for millions of years.


There you have it; an entire article on how Charles Darwin changed history and society forever.

Darwin from an early age was enthralled by nature and biology. Instead of becoming a doctor he would instead turn to natural science and create the modern field of biology. Today we remember him for his monumental theory of evolution.

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