People know Charles Darwin as the man who brought the theory of evolution to the world. He is celebrated as an academic, an author, a naturalist and a fearless voyager. Darwin circled the world in search of clues to how species originated. His works are still read in classrooms around the world today. However, not many people ever look past his writings to learn more about the man behind the research. Are you looking to evolve the way you think about Charles Darwin? Take a look at the 10 most interesting facts about the man who wrote the book on evolution.
He Shares a Birthday with Abraham Lincoln
Both men were born on February 12, 1809. Charles Darwin was born in a grand estate in Shrewsbury, England.
He Was a Unitarian
Charles and his siblings attended a Unitarian chapel with their parents. However, his father did baptize him as an Anglican shortly after his birth. Darwin did actually grow into quite a serious Christian in his formative years. In addition to studying divinity in college, he was also known to quote the bible in conversation. However, Darwin slowly drifted from his faith as the years went on for reasons that aren't fully known.
He Married His First Cousin
Darwin was married to a woman named Emma Wedgwood for 43 years before he passed away. The interesting thing is that Wedgwood was actually his cousin.
He Despised Slavery
Charles Darwin was a staunch abolitionist. He witnessed the slave trade with his own eyes when he visited South America for research. He was appalled by a practice that he described as human evil.
He Was a Father
The father of evolution was actually a real father. Darwin and his wife had 10 children over the course of their marriage. Two tragically died in infancy.
His Face Is on Money
Darwin's face appears on the back of the British 10-pound note. The decision to place his image on currency back in the year 2,000 solidified his memory as one of England's proudest sons.
He Had a Taste for Odd Foods
The man who liked to study birds and beasts also liked to dine on them. Darwin was a member of the Gourmet Club at Cambridge. This club gathered monthly to dine on unusual foods that weren't found on traditional menus. Darwin dined on owls, hawks and other peculiar dishes during his time in the club. This habit also carried over to his travels. He was said to have dined on everything from armadillo to puma meat when he traveled to exotic parts of the world.
His Father Wanted Him to Be a Doctor
Darwin was under tremendous pressure from his father to study medicine in college. However, Darwin defied him by becoming a naturalist. What was the reason for his aversion to the medical field? Darwin actually couldn't stand the sight of blood.
He Loved Backgammon
Even a serious man like Charles Darwin could appreciate the value of adding some fun and games to his life. Darwin played two rounds of backgammon nearly every night in the last years of his life. He was known to be quite meticulous about keeping score.
He Is Buried Inside Westminster Abbey
Many people find it ironic that a man who is often cited by atheists to disprove the existence of a creator is actually buried in one of the world's most famous churches. His body rests inside London's Westminster Abbey beside John Herschel and Isaac Newton.