Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Do Elephants Have Knees? And Other Stories of Darwinian Origins$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Charles R., Jr. Ault

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501704673

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501704673.001.0001

Show Summary Details

“Curtiosity’s” Child

“Curtiosity’s” Child

Bobby Darwin’s Impertinent Early Years

Chapter:
(p.10) 1 “Curtiosity’s” Child
Source:
Do Elephants Have Knees? And Other Stories of Darwinian Origins
Author(s):

Charles R. Ault

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501704673.003.0001

This chapter presents a portrait of Charles Darwin as a child left to pursue his natural instincts, beginning with his impertinent early years. According to Ernst Mayr, what made Darwin such a great scientist and intellectual innovator was his insatiable curiosity, claiming that “he never took anything for granted but always asked why and how.” As Evolution's Child, Darwin practiced curiosity from a young age. He ventured to the shores, forests, mountains, and plains of Brazil, Patagonia, Chile, Tierra del Fuego, and the Galápagos Islands. This chapter examines the origins of Darwin's impertinence by focusing on his early childhood and family culture, how his childhood opportunities were influenced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau's educational precepts, and his chemical experimentation. It also considers Darwin's playful exploration of nature and how he came up with the concept of evolution to explain how we became human.

Keywords:   evolution, Charles Darwin, curiosity, impertinence, childhood, family culture, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, education, nature

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.