Evolution is a scientific theory that explains how different living organisms have developed and changed over time. It is the process by which species of organisms change through time, ultimately resulting in the diversity of life on Earth.

But who is the father or started the theory of evolution? Let’s dive into the history of this revolutionary concept and find out.

The Father of Evolution

The father of evolution is none other than Charles Darwin. Darwin was an English naturalist who lived from 1809 to 1882. He is best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory and his book “On the Origin of Species,” which was published in 1859.

Darwin’s theory of evolution proposed that all species of organisms evolve over time through a process called natural selection. This process occurs when certain individuals within a population possess advantageous traits that allow them to survive and reproduce more successfully than others.

Early Theories

However, Darwin was not the first person to propose a theory of evolution. In fact, many scientists before him had already begun to explore this idea.

One such scientist was Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. Lamarck proposed a theory of evolution in the early 1800s that involved inheritance of acquired traits. He suggested that an organism could pass down traits it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring.

Another scientist who contributed to early evolutionary thought was Charles Lyell. Lyell’s work focused on geology and he proposed that changes in Earth’s surface occurred gradually over long periods of time rather than suddenly as previously believed.

Darwin’s Contributions

Despite these earlier contributions, it was Darwin who made significant advancements in evolutionary theory with his work on natural selection. His observations during his travels on HMS Beagle provided him with evidence for his ideas on how species arise and change over time.

Darwin argued that natural selection acts on individual organisms within populations to cause changes in their traits over time. Favorable traits that increase an organism’s chances of survival and reproduction are more likely to be passed down to future generations, eventually leading to the evolution of new species.


In conclusion, Charles Darwin is widely considered the father of evolutionary theory. While he built on the ideas of earlier scientists, it was his work on natural selection that truly revolutionized our understanding of how species arise and change over time. Today, his theories remain central to modern evolutionary biology and continue to shape our understanding of the diversity of life on Earth.