Real Men of Genius

Charles Darwin

Fossil remains

Real Men of Genius - Charles Darwin

NLP techniques

Real Men of Genius discusses Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, interest in which was excited considerably by the discovery at Lyme Regis during the early part of the 19th century of the remains of giant dinosaur bones by Mary Anning. 

Until then scientists at London’s Natural History Museum had been regularly misconstructing fossil remains.

Question

Charles, I think you had originally planned to enter the church.  Tell us, please, a little about your early life?

Answer

I am from Shrewsbury.  I read medicine at Edinburgh University and went from there to  Christ’s College, Cambridge.  It was there that I developed my interest in biology.

Real Men of Genius - disappointment

Question

It is said that your father was a little disappointed in you while you were a student?

Answer

I am afraid so.  He said to me one day:  “You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family.”  I think that turned out to be a rather harsh judgment.

Real Men of Genius – HMS Beagle

Question

And he wasn’t so keen either, was he, on your proposed voyage on HMS Beagle?

Answer

No, he thought it was a waste of time, but my uncle talked him into it, and I am glad he did.  It was 1831 when I became a naturalist on HMS Beagle.  I would have been around 22 then.

That became almost a 5 year trip.  I remember during that mission visiting Brazil, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Chile, the Galapagos Islands, Tahiti and New Zealand.

I made a point throughout of keeping copious notes of what I had seen of flora, fauna and geology.  Those notes were the foundations for my future investigations.

Real Men of Genius – Fellow of the Royal Society

Question

Your publications when you returned did much to establish your scientific reputation, didn’t they?

Answer

I believe so.  I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1839.

Question

And then shortly afterwards you moved to Kent and lived the life of a country gentleman?

Answer

I continued gathering notes of my observations for the next 15 or 16 years but I was reluctant, at first, to publish my theories because I had no wish to offend religious communities.

Real Men of Genius – The Origin of Species

Question

But there came a time when you felt you had little choice, I think?

Answer

Yes.  I read a paper by Alfred Wallace foreshadowing the theory of natural selection when my own work was partly written.  

My paper The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life was published in 1859.

Real Men of Genius - Controversy

Question

And, as might be expected, it was greeted with some controversy?

Answer

Particularly by the church, of course.  My main premise was that evolution occurred as a result of natural selection.  I think what I observed on the Galapagos Islands assisted me greatly.

I noticed that there were closely related finches on each of the islands, but which differed in significant respects.  It seemed to me that animals or plants that are suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce. 

They will then pass to their descendants those characteristics that helped them to survive.  Gradually, over considerable periods of time, the species will change.

The views expressed by the Church of England were not all one-sided.  Some felt that natural selection was merely the way God designed it.

Question

Sections of the media suggested that mankind was descended from apes?

Answer

I think that followed publication of The Descent of Man where I referred to man’s immediate ancestor, biologically speaking, as a ‘hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed ears, probably arboreal in its habits.’

Question

You must be greatly comforted by the work of Watson and Crick, well after your own death, in the 1950s?

Answer

The work they expounded in Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid – what is shortly referred to as DNA – explained clearly how genetic instructions were stored in organisms and passed from generation to generation.

Real Men of Genius – Health and Marriage

Question

You were an extremely hard worker and that affected your health at some stage, didn’t it?

Answer

Yes, I was diagnosed with heart problems and advised to rest.  My grandfather was Josiah Wedgewood, and I returned to Shrewsbury to stay with the Wedgewoods for a while.

Question

That, and other ailments, plagued you for the rest of your life didn’t they?

Answer

Yes, but they were always worse when I was under stress of some kind.

Question

What about marriage?

Answer

Real Men of Genius - Charles Darwin

I considered it carefully.  I had been used to making detailed notes and analysing, so I did the same with marriage.

I wrote down the advantages and disadvantages of marriage and came down on the side of marriage.  In due course I married my cousin, Emma Wedgewood.

Real Men of Genius - Children

Question

You were a devoted father and husband, we are told?

Answer

I like to think so.  We were fortunate enough to have ten children although two were lost in infancy and our daughter, Annie, died when she was ten years’ old.  We were both utterly devastated by her loss.

This led me to consider the dangers of inbreeding, and I wondered if there might be inherited weaknesses because of my close family relationship with Emma.  I wrote about it afterwards and pointed out the advantages of crossing with many different organisms.

Question

Your sons did rather well though, didn’t they, three of them becoming Fellows of the Royal Society?

Answer

Yes, they did, distinguishing themselves in astronomy, botany and civil engineering.  They were George, Francis and Horace.  Leonard was a soldier, politician, economist and eugenicist.

Real Men of Genius - Recognition

Question

Although some were critical of your findings, you did receive considerable recognition from other quarters during the course of your lifetime, didn’t you?

Answer

Water adjoining the Beagle Channel was named Darwin Sound, and a nearby Andes mountain named Mount Darwin. 

A natural harbour in Australia has been called Port Darwin and an adjacent settlement, which subsequently became capital of Australia’s Northern Territory was renamed Darwin.

Question

I think you have mentioned just a few.  Just before you died on 19 April 1882, you told Emma that you were not afraid of death?

Answer

That is so; there is nothing in death of which to be afraid.  I am honoured that although I expected my remains to be buried at Downe, they are instead buried in Westminster Abbey.

Keep your eyes open for more Real Men of Genius as they are added to this site and also look at Real Women of Genius for further examples.

Read Modelling Genius and remember also to see where you can identify the talents of these people within yourself.  You will have them all.  You may just need to search a little:



Gain FREE access to my self-confidence video

To gain free access to my self-confidence video enter your email address and first name in the box below.  This will also keep you up-to-date with my free newsletter Inspirations.

As a bonus for subscribing you'll receive the first three chapters of my book Towards Success, where you can learn more about NLP techniques, from Anchors to Modelling, and my 50 favourite inspirational quotations.

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Inspirations.

Return from Real Men of Genius - Charles Darwin - to

The Secret of Mindpower & NLP Home



Return to Site Search & Contents Page

The Secret of Mindpower & NLP 






New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Change your life in just 5 weeks

Discover the pathway to success with my online video course. Learn more


View Cart

Download NEW ebook Your Genius Within and find out how to  uncover your own inner genius




Towards


NLP Articles

Articles on HYPNOSIS:

Articles about THE SECRET of:

Articles about COACHING:

Articles on GENIUS and MIND POWERS:

Articles about MEMORY:

Articles about RELATIONSHIPS:

Articles on WEALTH:

Articles on WEIGHT LOSS:

Articles on SECRET and INSPIRATIONAL TEACHERS:

Real Men of Genius Articles:

Real Women of Genius Articles: