Charles Darwin

THE POWER OF A RATIONAL MIND

While studying the life of foremost men like Darwin, we may wonder how scientific findings as important could be done by personages we can somehow see as outsiders.
Darwin apparently could not find a role in which set himself comfortably: dropped out of medicine school, as he felt little interested, then quitted his career as a minister. We can almost hear his parents’ voices: “What can we do with our son, as he can’t settle in any respectable position, and does not know what to do with himself?”
Darwin, according to his love in natural sciences, boarded to join the most famous cruise in history, which gave him matter to exercise his prodigious mind. This experience of deep observation of reality together with his unshakable logic led him to the scientific findings now universally known.
Nobody can better than Darwin be the incarnation of the myth of the scientist who, thanks to his attentive observation of the world and precise reasoning, could not only bring about evidence of evolution as a cultural movement of the nineteenth century, but also resist the dramatic religious opposition to his ideas. How unpleasant, violent was this opposition could be seen, in spite of his proud saying “It is enormously important to show the world that few great men do not fear to speak their mind”, from his admitting -at the same time- to his friend T. H. Huxley who defended him against the attack of the Archbishop of Oxford, “Honour your courage: I’d be dead before trying to answer the bishop in such an assembly”.(1)
What personality resources enabled him to confront these challenges?

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