Although Darwin wasn’t sure about his proof of his theory, although he caused a religious controversy, and although many people didn’t accept that Darwin was right until nearly 100 years later, it is undeniable that Darwin had a huge contribution to modern-day thinking and modern-day biology. While Darwin was doing his research, many other scientists were also exploring similar topics yet did not get the same research done or credit as Darwin. This raises the question, what made Darwin different? Was it his unique family life and the way he went about his life in general?
The first notable detail of Darwin’s life that likely contributed to his success was that he ddi not have a job, but instead lived off of independent wealth that was left to him by his parents. He married his cousin who also came from a successful family, growing his personal wealth further. Because Darwin did not need to be going to a job and focusing time on job-related issues, he was able to spend time doing what he truly enjoyed, science. This may have set him apart from other researchers at the time as he not only enjoyed science for the joy of it, but also that he had so much time to pursue scientific topics of his own interest.
Another part of Darwin’s life that may have contributed to his success was his wife and family. Many documents show that Darwin and his wife were very happy and that they had many children that also added to their happiness (although in his marry/not marry list, children were at the top of both lists!). This may have made him be able to focus more on his work and less on marital or general family life issues. Darwin needed to have a comfortable family life to be able to even make the voyage on the Beagle.
Darwin’s family was supportive of him during his life as well as after his death, making the Darwinian revolution possible. Starting from having his funeral and being buried in Westminster Abbey with other revolutionaries. From there, his children also helped transcribe his books and were instrumental in crafting the record of Darwin himself. At the time that they were doing this, Darwin’s theory was not widely accepted, and many people thought that it went against their religious views. If his children had not pushed his popularity and theories throughout their lives, his work may have not surfaced to the extent that it has, and we would likely not think of evolution in the same way, or would have heard it from someone else.
The extent to which Darwin’s family was important can be seen in that Darwin was able to do other things that he was interested in, such as classifying barnacles, breed pigeons, observe differences between humans and apes, work on hybridization and still become one of the most well know men in modern science, easily surpassing other evolutionists such as Herbert Spencer, Robert Chambers and Alfred Russell Wallace. He was able to follow his interests on his own time line and have his theories become revolutionary after his death. If the other evolutionists had come from the same type of background and same type of happy family, maybe things would have been different.