Whenever I think of Charles Darwin, I think of how he managed to brilliantly realize how all species are connected and the idea of natural selection. I never really learned about how he interacted with other scientists and intellects, his antagonistic relationship with the church, nor the amount of time spent writing his book The Origin of Species
Being taught about Charles Darwin meant more of being taught about evolution than the man himself in my classes.
As I glance at the letters as we did our activities, I never realized how much he depended on those he knew in order to develop his idea nor the amount of doubt he had as to whether he could do it justice. He wrote letters to others so that they could help and advise him how to express his work. He also gossiped very often about how certain people were obviously wrong and that his was more the better idea or how they doubted his own work.
From the letters, I learned that the world he lived in was drastically different from my own. He was called a heretic for something that is widely accepted in the present day. The Anglican Church was a powerful force in those day and greatly disapprove of the idea that the Earth was older than what the bible depicts, the connection between man and other species, and their biggest misunderstanding: that man was directly descended from primates. But Darwin himself was also losing faith in the church, especially after the death of his favorite daughter Henrietta. Even though he knew the church would be against him, he continued to support his theory as he believed in the truth of his discoveries.
It’s odd to think that in his time period, they lacked the information that seems so common in this day and age. I think it’s interesting to see how Darwin had slowly developed his idea in his letters with many others other a long time period rather than the assumption that he thought of most of it himself as I previously thought before. It makes him more human in my eyes to seem him having doubts and uncertainties of his own work.
Charles Darwin, 1880 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin#/media/File:Charles_Darwin_1880.jpg