Charles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors and, in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.


Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his book, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. The scientific community and a majority of the educated public had accepted evolution as a fact.