For my wonderful and curious son, Dimitri, who loves to ask questions—just like Charles Darwin—D.H.
To my sisters, for their unwavering belief that anything is possible and always cheering me on—N.H.
Special thanks to Delbert Hutchison, Assistant Professor of Biology, Whitman College, for sharing his enthusiasm about Charles Darwin and making helpful suggestions on the manuscript. Any errors are my own.
Who Was Charles Darwin?
Charles Darwin took a five-year trip around the world on a ship called the Beagle, but he liked staying home best of all. He lived in a small English village where he raised pigeons, played with his children, and puttered in his garden.
Although he lived a quiet life, Charles Darwin started a revolution—a revolution of thought.
People have always wondered how life on Earth began. When Charles Darwin lived, most people in Europe and America believed God created the entire world in six days, just as it says in the Bible. But Charles Darwin was not most people. The Beagle voyage taught him to be a true scientist—to look closely at nature, question everything, and think in a new way about how life on Earth started. He showed how living things could naturally change, or evolve, over a long period of time.