Charles Darwin would today be 203 years old, thats something worth celebrating. Here's a potted history of his life:
Born on 12th February 1809 in Shrewsbury in England
Studied medicine but dropped out. Studied natural sciences and geology
Was the naturalist and geologist aboard HMS Beagle on a 5 year world tour of discovery
Established the theory of natural selection in 1838
Father of Evolutionary Theory
Wrote The Origin of Species about evolution in nature in 1859
Wrote The Describe of Man in 1878 about human evolution
Died in 1882
Is buried at Westminster Abbey
I've always felt a strong affinity to Charles Darwin; like him I found my childhood faith at logger heads with the simple truth of science. Like him I came to realise that science adds to an understanding of what happens in life and nature whilst religion provides the why. Sadly he never seems to have been able to come to terms with the religious opposition he encountered but I believe he would have done if the church had even tried to understand his study and love of the world.
I would love to visit all the places Darwin visited and hope to see many of the wonders of creation he encountered. God was alongside Darwin's exploration; he saw God in it all even if he couldn't see religion.
Happy Birthday Charles Darwin, you have added so much depth to our lives through your work.