Charles Darwin - Origin of Species and Natural Selection
Charles Darwin returned to England in 1836. In 1839, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and, five days later, married to his cousin Emma Wedgwood, who bore him 10 children. In 1842, Darwin began drafting his Origin of Species . Darwin's work was heavily influenced by Lyell's Principles of Geology and Thomas Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798). Origin of Species was ultimately published in 1859.
Darwin didn't invent the evolutionary worldview. He simply brought something new to the old philosophy: a plausible mechanism called "natural selection." In his Origin of Species , Darwin proposed natural selection as the mechanism by which all life could have descended from a common ancestor (Darwin defined evolution as "descent with modification"). However, today we know that natural selection is a deficient mechanism, even in light of genetic mutation. In fact, with the tremendous advances we've made in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics over the past fifty years, Darwin's theory has become "a theory in crisis."