Many people believe that twenty billion years ago a kind of monkey like animal called Cro-Magnon lived on earth. According to most scientists they are our very distant relatives and we evolved from them. Scientists believe that this happened because of natural selection. Natural selection is the process in which the traits that help with survival the most are passed on from one generation to the next generation. For example, if a goat is born with some rare defect, chances are that it will die either due to disease or a to a predator before it has the chance to mate or have young. This would prevent the genetic defect from being passed on to the next generation.
Charles Darwin is best known for his theory of evolution, which he based on the idea of natural selection. Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. He went to school at Christ's College where he studied theology. Darwin went on many expeditions in which he observed and studied animals and nature. In 1859, he took his vast mass of notes and published his first work, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. He also went on to write other works such as: The Fertilization of Orchids, The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals, and The Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication. Charles Darwin is still considered today to be one of the foremost authorities on evolution by biological experts.
When Darwin first came out with the publishing of The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859, many took his writings as blasphemous; well others took it as pure fact. The world was not ready for thoughts like that. They were used to and believed the theory that God created the world and everything in it. Although many mainstream and liberal clergy found that the evolutionary theory could be compatible with their faith, the more conservative were in great protest and condemned of it as leading to atheism and immoral behavior.