We’ve all heard of Charles Darwin, right? The man who invented evolution. Well not really, but he sort of did; it’s either him or God, right? In any case, the trail to his metaphorical immortality wasn’t short of strange and wonderful foibles. To an extent, he was a genius and was considered one of the greatest freethinkers of his time – even as a child, other families paid money for his thoughts and ideas. But of course, this sort of intellect comes with some interesting, how do we call them? Quirks?
Instead of living in his family home, Charles (I’d like to think we’re that close) preferred to live in a homely looking tree in his backyard where he would live a standard childhood whilst intensely observing the behaviours of his family and animals around him. This is ultimately where he came up with the first theory that we are all familiar with. Charles’ father, who couldn’t be said to be the healthiest man, passed away, and Charles, with complete remorse for his deceased father, coined it: ‘survival of the fittest’.
Charles didn’t actually tell anyone, not even his wife, that he was leaving
Fast forward a few years: Charles sets sail to the Galapicos on The Bagel. What? That can’t be right. No, no, it was The Beagle, I got my timeline mixed up, my bad. The ship Charles travelled on was in fact originally called the Bagel, name after a prestigious Romanian baker; but having heard the name prior to boarding the ship, Charles requested a change, as he refused to step foot on a ship whose insignia had a hole in it. So, Charles sets off, and everyone is fervently excited for him to discover the roots of life as we know it! Well, no. Charles didn’t actually tell anyone, not even his wife, that he was leaving; he claimed instead that he was off to buy milk, returned five and a half years later where his wife Emma asked angrily, “Charles, where’s the milk?” – I think he got a little distracted.
Humans developed a lower lip to whistle at women and eat spaghetti
We are all familiar with what happened during his trip, but to summarise: Charles formulated his theories on adaptation through feelings of sexual deprivation, concluded humans developed a lower lip to whistle at women and eat spaghetti, and deciphered his theories on natural selection because he saw green beetles get eaten by birds and brown beetles replicate freely. Sounds like a trip with a rigorously planned itinerary. Once back home and quietly proud of his groundbreaking discoveries, that would print him in scientific history forever, Charles found out another scientist, Alfred Russell Wallace, also observed similar phenomena to him and was about to publish the work he had toiled and strained to discover. So, Charles dropped everything and somehow convinced Alfred to co-publish with him. The reason he was remembered as the godfather of the origin of life and Alfred wasn’t? Charles’ long beard reminded people of Santa Claus and therefore caught the attention of kids and adults alike.
Charles Darwin eventually died on April 19, 1882, 47 years after his groundbreaking holiday to the Galapicos. Luckily to be with him on his deathbed was his wife, close friends, and an armadillo renting a room in his house.