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This brilliant 19th-century naturalist’s intense curiosity about the diversity of species led him to a new understanding of the world around us—and our place in it. Evidence collected during the five-year voyage of the HMS Beagle led to Darwin’s revolutionary theory that species adapt to different environments and change over time: all life, including humans, has evolved from a common ancestor through the process of natural selection. The new tools of genetics and molecular biology continue to build on Darwin’s radical ideas and refine our understanding of the mechanisms of evolution, which is essential to the study of life sciences. 

darwin manuscript

Darwin Manuscripts Project

The manuscripts of Charles Darwin, in more than 16,000 high-resolution digital images, are available from the Museum.


Animals, Adaptation, and the Galápagos Islands

Travel to the Galápagos Islands and follow in Charles Darwin’s footsteps with this interactive investigation. You’ll have the chance to collect clues as you investigate the islands’ species. 



Did you know that for 21 years Darwin kept his theory secret? Learn more about this brilliant observer of nature and how he transformed our understanding of the living world.


Darwin: Meet the Curator

Meet Dr. Niles Eldredge, curator of Darwin.

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Darwin Educator's Guide

This Educator's Guide connects the Darwin exhibition to the classroom—before, during, and after your visit—and correlates the exhibition content to National and State Standards. 

mario livio

Frontier Lecture: Brilliant Blunders

To err is human, even if you’re a scientist. In this podcast, astrophysicist Mario Livio discusses the interesting scientific mistakes made by famous scientists, the subject of his new book “Brilliant Blunders.” 


New Study Sheds Light on Mammal Group that Puzzled Darwin

Research published in March, 2015 shows that extinct South American ungulates were more closely related to mammals like horses than to elephants.


"Punk Eek," 40 Years Later

In the late 1960s, Curator Emeritus Niles Eldredge was a graduate student with a passion for trilobite eyes. He had been taught to expect slow and steady change between the specimens of these Devonian arthropods he collected for his dissertation. Only his trilobites were doing one of two things: staying the same, or evolving in leaps.

Darwin portrait

Online Darwin Resources

Teaching and talking about evolution can be challenging. Look here for support of all kinds from national organizations, tailored to the needs of educators and students.

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Darwin: Voyage of Discovery

Examine the big insights and amusing details of Darwin's historic voyage on the HMS Beagle. 

Chris Filardi Explore21

Podcast: SciCafe: Island Birds and Biodiversity

From Darwin’s finches to the Dodo, island birds have inspired groundbreaking scientific theories. The genomic revolution and increased access to islands are now enabling a new age of island exploration by researchers.

Galapagos Giant Tortoise

Galápagos Giant Tortoise

The Galápagos Giant Tortoise, on display in the Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians, famously inspired Darwin's thinking on geographic variation. 

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