A Science Story: The house of Darwin

Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories revolutionised how we look at the natural world. But how did this humble gentleman naturalist see so clearly what others had missed?

 
  Italian panel (ca. 1890) featuring Charles Darwin, on display at the Turin Museum of Human Anatomy.   Wikimedia Commons  (public domain)

Italian panel (ca. 1890) featuring Charles Darwin, on display at the Turin Museum of Human Anatomy. Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

 
 
It’s just a house, a home. It’s not a laboratory. And yet some of the most profound insights into science and biology were made in this house, by a man looking at earthworms, birds, weeds in the garden... and thinking.
 

In 1831, when he left England aboard the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin still believed in the Biblical account of creation – that all species on earth were created exactly as they are today.

A few years later, he realised that species were not static at all, but constantly evolving through a process of natural selection. But how did he reach this insight?

Today we go on an international voyage of our own – from the Galapagos Islands to Darwin’s backyard – to explore the various influences on Darwin’s life and science, and how they changed the world forever.

 
 

This episode features the following guests:

MUSIC

Jelsonic (Another Brilliant Age); Kevin MacLeod (Atlantean Twilight, Call to Adventure, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Friday Morning, Harlequin, Lone Harvest, Our story begins, Serpentine Trek, The Hive); MIT Concert Choir (Der Sommer: Air (Hanne): Wleche Labung Fur Die Sinne); Podington Bear (Pink Gradient, Nocturne Op 9 No 1, Sprout, Lazy River)

SOUNDS

Eric DeFonso (Small ground finch, Geospiza fuliginosa – XC114003, Woodpecker finch, Camarhynchus pallidus – XC114148, Galapagos mockingbird, Mimus parvulus – XC114005); felix.blume (Sea lions screaming in the port of Iquique, Chile); GoodSoundForYou (Gunfire); hazure (Rowing a Boat); Markku Ruuskanen (Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea – XC237209); Mike Koenig (Crisp ocean waves); Phil Gregory (Laughing Kookaburra, Dacelo novaeguineae –  XC161062); Polymorpheva (seals_fishermans_wharf_san_francisco); Unknown author (Humpbackwhale2)