Darwin-Mendel Timeline

1809
Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England in 1809 as the fifth child of six in a wealthy family. He came from a long line of scientists, being the grandson of Erasmus Darwin, a renowned botanist, on his mother’s side.
1825
Charles Darwin
Darwin was removed from Shrewsbury School in 1825 by his father, who decided Charles would go to medical school to pursue careers similar to those of his father and grandfather. Darwin began attending the University of Edinburgh at the age of 16 with his brother on October 22. His father hoped Darwin would become a doctor but the sight of blood made him queasy and he found the study of medicine incredibly boring. Besides, Darwin was far more interested in studying natural history.
1829
Charles Darwin
Darwin enrolled in Christ’s College in 1829, where he soon became very interested in studying bugs. He had always enjoyed observing nature as a child.
1831
Charles Darwin
Darwin joined the Beagle Expedition as a naturalist in 1831 on a sea voyage to South America. He documented his observations of the creatures and remains that existed there.
1836
Charles Darwin
After returning home to England in 1836, Darwin began writing papers on his findings and theories. He started publishing his papers straight away.
1837
Charles Darwin
Darwin started making his first theories on the mutation and evolution of animals within their species in 1837.
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1839
Charles Darwin
In 1839, Darwin got married to Emma Wedgwood, who was his cousin. They later had ten children, seven of whom reached adulthood.
1840
Charles Darwin
In 1840, Darwin released a paper on the evolution (formation) of mold. The book on this topic was not published until 1881.
1842
Charles Darwin
Darwin began his famous theory of “descent with modification” in 1842 with a pencil sketch, which was later expanded into a longer essay. The theory consists of his beliefs on how the human species developed.
1846
Charles Darwin
In 1846, Darwin published “Geological Observations on South America”, a book based on his geologic findings that he had discovered while he was with the Beagle Expedition.
1856
Charles Darwin
Darwin began writing a paper for his theory of natural selection in 1856.
1859
Charles Darwin
On November 24, 1859, Darwin’s book on natural selection, “On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”, was published. The second edition was published the following year as foreign editions emerged and Darwin began writing about his ideas of variation.
1864
Charles Darwin
In 1964, Darwin was awarded the Copley medal, the highest scientific award of the Royal Society of London. At this point, Darwin had already been ill for at least two years.
1882
Charles Darwin
On April 19, 1882, Charles Darwin died in Downe, England at the age of 73. Years after his death, with more advanced technology, DNA studies provided evidence of his theory of evolution. However, the friction between Darwin’s theory and creationism still exists today.
1822
Gregor Mendel
Gregor Mendel was born in what was then the Austrian Empire (now Hyncice, Czech Republic) on July 20, 1822.
1833
Gregor Mendel
In 1833, Mendel was sent to secondary school after his intelligence was recognized by a local schoolmaster. Although this placed a monetary strain on the family, Mendel eventually graduated with honors in 1840.
1841
Gregor Mendel
Mendel started attending the University of Olmutz where he studied philosophy and physics in 1841. Despite suffering from depression during this time, he graduated two years later, again, with honors.
1843
Gregor Mendel
In 1843, Mendel joined the Augustinian order at the St. Thomas Monastery, with hopes of becoming a monk. It is at the monastery where he is given the name Gregor.
1851
Gregor Mendel
Mendel began attending the University of Vienna in 1851 in order to continue studies in science after failing the oral portion of his teaching exam. The monastery paid for his education there.
1853
Gregor Mendel
In 1853, Mendel returned to the monastery, where he taught mainly physics for over a decade.
1854
Gregor Mendel
Mendel’s famous experiments commenced in 1854. He started to research the transmission of hereditary traits in plant hybrids around this time.
1856
Gregor Mendel
After failing his teaching exam yet again, Mendel turned his attention to his scientific experiments in 1856. From 1856 to 1863, Mendel cultivated and tested over 29,000 pea plants.
1865
Gregor Mendel
In 1865, Mendel established the Meteorological Society to solidify his passion for science.
1866
Gregor Mendel
On February 8 and March 8 of 1866 (on two separate occasions), Mendel submitted his findings in a paper titled “Experiments on Plant Hybridization” to the Natural History Society of Brno in Moravia. His work was approved but did not receive full recognition until after he passed away. The ideas in this paper (the independent law of assortment, the independent law of segregation, and the law of dominance) eventually became known as Mendel’s Laws of Inheritance.
1867
Gregor Mendel
Mendel was made abbot of the monastery he had been teaching at for 14 years in 1867. Both the increased duties of being an abbot and his fading eyesight restricted him from conducting further major scientific experiments.
1884
Gregor Mendel
Gregor Mendel died from a chronic case of nephritis in Brno at the age of 61 on January 6, 1884. Although Mendel set the foundation for the study of heredity and genetics today, the significance of his studies was not fully recognized or appreciated during his lifetime. Eventually his works became known as “Mendel’s Laws”, and to this day, he is known as the “Father of Modern Genetics”.