Charles Darwin (1809–82) set sail on the Beagle
in 1831, a half-hearted
believer that species were unchanging. Molded by the science of his time, he believed
the earth was eons old, species appeared in their current locations at an unknown
time, and the Bible had nothing relevant to say about science. Eager for acceptance
by the scientific establishment, the 23-year-old wanted to make his mark. But
as radical new ideas began brewing in his head, he grew fearful about the threat
to his reputation.