February 12, 1809 (a Sunday)

Happy Birthday, Mr. Darwin!

On this date, the English naturalist Charles Robert Darwin, second son and fifth of six children of Robert Waring Darwin, successful physician, and Susannah Wedgwood, daugher of Josiah Wedgwood, founder of the Wedgwood Pottery Works, was born in Shrewsbury. He is one of the most famous men who has ever lived. He presented evidence to support his theory of the mechanism of evolution whereby favorable variations would be preserved, which he called “Natural Selection” and has become known as Darwinism. His two most important books were On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859) and The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871).

Happy Birthday!

[On Monday evening, Feb. 11, 2008, the New York State Assembly unanimously passed a resolution honoring Darwin Day 2008, the first state legislature in history to do so.]

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