In his second year, 1826–1827, Charles was just as dissatisfied with his lectures and had lost his enthusisam for the library. He did, however, become a friend of Dr. Robert Grant, a physician and lecturer at Edinburgh with a particular interest in marine biology. Grant took him to meetings of the Wernerian Society, where he heard lectures by the master bird-watcher John Audubon and others. During the two years at Edinburgh Darwin almost certainly heard about the idea of evolution for the first time. But the evolution he heard about remained a vague, mysterious process that depended on unknown mechanisms. It was starting to seem clear to some that all living beings were related, but as of yet it was difficult to say how they were related.
The combination of his lack of interest in medicine with his absolute squeamishness at the prospect of surgery boded ill for his success in the profession. His father scolded him for his "indolent" lifestyle. After Charles's second year at Edinburgh, Robert Darwin, realising that Charles would not follow in his footsteps, encouraged him to seek another occupation. His father sent him to Christ's College in Cambridge to study to become an Anglican Parson. He became a close friend and follower of botany professor John Stevens Henslow and met other leading naturalists who saw scientific work as religious natural theology. He completed his studies in 1831, and after he graduated he was offered a situation by Henslow for a self-funded place with captain Robert FitzRoy on HMS Beagle, which was to leave in four weeks on an expedition to chart the coastline of South America. His father objected to the planned two-year voyage, regarding it as a waste of time, but was persuaded by his brother-in-law, Josiah Wedgwood, to agree to his son’s participation.