Charles Darwin is a name that is synonymous with the theory of evolution. But how did he publish his groundbreaking theory?

It was not a simple process, and it faced opposition from many quarters. In this article, we will explore the journey of Darwin’s publication of his theory of evolution.

The Background

Darwin’s journey began in his early twenties when he joined the HMS Beagle as a naturalist. The voyage lasted for five years, and Darwin collected specimens from different regions around the world. His observations during this journey laid the foundation for his theory of evolution.

The Theory Takes Shape

It took Darwin more than twenty years to develop his theory of evolution. He conducted extensive research, collected data, and made observations before arriving at his conclusions. In 1858, he received a letter from Alfred Russel Wallace, another naturalist who had arrived at similar conclusions independently.

The Publication

In 1859, Darwin published ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.’ The book presented evidence for evolution and natural selection and challenged traditional beliefs about creationism.

Darwin’s publisher was hesitant to publish the book due to its controversial subject matter. However, after much persuasion, he finally agreed to publish it with a print run of 1,250 copies.

The Reaction

The publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’ sparked intense debate and controversy. Many people were outraged by Darwin’s ideas as they contradicted traditional religious beliefs about creationism.

However, there were also scientists who supported Darwin’s theory and recognized its importance in the field of biology. The book sold out on the first day of publication and went through several editions in subsequent years.


Darwin’s publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’ marked a significant milestone in scientific history. It challenged traditional beliefs and laid the foundation for the modern understanding of evolution. Despite facing opposition, Darwin persevered and published his theory, which has stood the test of time.