The man who gave the world the theory of evolution by natural selection was born 200 years ago today.
Born in Shrewsbury, England in 1809, Charles Robert Darwin shocked the established order by challenging the biblical version of creation. Visiting the Galapagos, off South America, he observed how species adapted to the Islands’ demanding environment. Later, in ‘The Origin of Species’, his theory led to the idea that mankind descended from animals. The idea remains controversial, but for one of his descendants, it allows us to understand our place in world. Randal Keynes said: “It’s so important for us now to realise how all natural life is connected and humans are part of it, and realise how careful we must be in preserving it all.’‘ The birthday of the British naturalist is being celebrated in Britain with stamps, and the Catholic Church agreed this week his ideas were not incompatible with religious doctrine.