When Did Charles Darwin Write “On the Origin of Species” and Who Coined the Phrase Survival of the Fittest?

Charles Darwin almost waited too long before publishing his theory of evolution in On the Origin of Species.

Even though he had devised the theory in 1838 and started writing his book in 1844, he was still working on it in 1858.

In 1858, another English naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, came up with his version of natural selection.

He called it “survival of the fittest.” Wallace had also traveled all over the world studying plants and animals and decided that species must change over time.

Wallace wrote a paper on his ideas and sent it to the most famous naturalist in the world, Charles Darwin.

Darwin was shocked, but he allowed Wallace to share credit with him when he submitted his first paper on evolution to the Journal of the Linnaean Society that year.

On the Origin of Species was published the next year.

Wallace went on to have a long, distinguished career as a writer and lecturer.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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