Charles Robert Darwin (1809 - 1882), was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist. He is best known for his radical theory of evolution by natural selection which made us rethink our place in the world. His ground-breaking theory, set out in his book "On the Origin of Species" published in 1859, that humans share a common ancestor with apes, was a major challenge to the foundations of Western civilization. But by the 1870s the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, and as such he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey.