Keywords: drwin failed
Description: Charles Darwin was born into a moderately wealthy family in Shrewsbury, England. His father, Robert, had the largest medical practice outside of London at the time and his mother, Susannah
Charles Darwin was born into a moderately wealthy family in Shrewsbury, England. His father, Robert, had the largest medical practice outside of London at the time and his mother, Susannah Wedgwood, was from a family of wealthy pottery manufacturers. She died when Charles was only 8 years old. Thereafter, he was raised mostly by his father and doting older sisters. Charles grew up in comparative luxury in a large house with servants. However, this was a socially conservative time in England that set narrow limits on a young man's behavior and future possibilities. The constraints on women in Darwin's social class were even greater. Most were given only enough education to efficiently manage the homes of their future husbands and raise their children. Young men were expected to go to university in order to prepare themselves to become medical doctors, military officers, or clerics in the Church of England. Most other occupations were considered somewhat unsavory.
At his father's direction, Charles Darwin started university at 16 in Edinburgh, Scotland as a medical student. He showed little academic interest in medicine and was revolted by the brutality of surgery being performed without pain relief. Anesthesia was not used for operations until 1842. Darwin dropped out of medical school after two years of study in 1827. However, his knowledge of natural history was incidentally enriched in Edinburgh by the teaching of Robert Grant, a noted professor of anatomy and an avid marine biologist. At Grant's suggestion, Darwin also became a member of Plinian Society for student naturalists at the University of Edinburgh.
Having given up on a medicine as a future career, Charles Darwin's father then sent him to Cambridge University in 1828 to pursue an ordinary degree program with the goal of later becoming an Anglican parson. In Cambridge his life's direction continued its radical change. He became very interested in the scientific ideas of the geologist Adam Sedgwick and the naturalist John Henslow with whom he spent considerable time collecting specimens from the countryside around the university. At this time in his life, Darwin apparently rejected the concept of biological evolution, just as his mentors Sedgwick and Henslow did. However, Darwin had been exposed to the ideas of Lamarck about evolution earlier while he was a student in Edinburgh.