1809 - 1882
English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. He published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history.