12-27-17 / 6:25 AM / WHEN CHARLES DARWIN SET SAIL.


The Osgood File. This is Charles Osgood from the Dell Small Business Studios.

On this day in 1831, a ship called the HMS Beagle set sail on a surveying mission to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

There was a 22-year-old passenger on board. His name was Charles Darwin.

And what he learned on that voyage would change the way we see the natural world.

More after this…

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When you hear the name “Charles Darwin”, you naturally think of the theory of evolution.

His work is considered one of the great achievements of the human mind – an influence on everyone from Einstein to Richard Dawkins…

SOT – Richard Dawkins
“I’m a biologist – and Darwin has been an inspiration to me throughout my whole career. His masterpiece ‘On the Origin of Species’ was published 150 years ago – and it changed forever our view of the world and our place in it.”

But the theory of evolution didn’t just spring from Darwin’s genius. There was some hard work – and considerable seasickness – involved.

On this day in 1831 in Plymouth, England, Darwin boarded the Beagle, a ship that was going on a mission to survey parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Darwin was drawn to the idea of learning as much as he could about the animals, plants and geology of the places that the ship would visit.

It stopped in New Zealand and the Galapagos Islands. Darwin gathered samples and took notes. He was fascinated by the sheer variety of the flora and fauna he found.

In 1859, Darwin published a book: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.” It was controversial. But by the time Darwin died in 1882, his work had largely carried the day. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, alongside other famous figures from British history.

And the Beagle? As for its evolution, it went on another survey voyage to Australia, then saw duty as a coast watch vessel. It was broken up in 1870 – gone, but never forgotten, by Charles Darwin.

The Osgood File. This is Charles Osgood – and I’ll see you right here on the radio.