Darwin's Struggle on Animal Planet

At a time when most Europeans believed that the world was created by God in seven days, a groundbreaking scientific publication was released, effectively changing the perception of the natural world and our place in it. DARWIN’S STRUGGLE, premiering Tuesday, November 24 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on Animal Planet – the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s famous publication, On the Origin of Species – sheds light on one of the most astonishing and influential scientific thinkers of human history, and his revolutionary theory of evolution by natural selection.

Just as beauty and wonder emerge out of a war of nature, so too did Darwin’s world-changing book, On the Origin of Species, evolve out of years of painstaking research and inner conflict. Enduring two decades of debilitating illness, self-doubt and family tragedy, Darwin unleashed a new vision of nature, where species evolved independently from the guiding hand of a creator.

On the Origin of Species introduced the theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. Presenting a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose through a branching pattern of evolution and common descent, Darwin’s theory has become the foundation of evolutionary biology.

Caught in the middle of the euphoria of enlightenment and the demons of a Victorian conscience, Darwin’s personal traumas and fears give insight into the development of On the Origin of Species. Using previously untapped personal letters, notes and diaries to shape the story, DARWIN’S STRUGGLE reveals not the anxious, stern scientist his book portrays, but a friendly, funny and candid communicator, full of human weaknesses and excited by his own revelations.

Beginning in 1842 when Darwin begins to rally his ideas, DARWIN’S STRUGGLE follows the years to the book’s publication 17 years later. With commentary from modern-day thinkers and Darwin experts who give their fresh insights, this illuminating docu-drama sheds new light on an extraordinary man and one of the most important theories ever created.

Darwin’s theory of evolution has become so much a part of the scientific landscape that it is often taken for granted – but its profound impact on society, economics and the arts continues to this day. As the 150th anniversary of the epoch-defining On the Origin of Species approaches, the curtain on the man and his work is raised and the time he developed and researched his groundbreaking scientific theory of evolution is revealed.

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