this paper evokes the memory of the british naturalist and scientist, charles darwin on his 200th birthday. the best way to do so is to invite our readers to reflect on some ideas of three books of his: the origin of species (1859), descent of man (1871) and the expression of emotions in man and animals (1872). after presenting the importance and appropriateness of darwin in the contemporaneous debate, the text rapidly explores the historical precedents of the so called "theory of evolution" and the reactions to it. it then situates darwin's works in its historical context and presents a brief history of these three books and an analysis of their main ideas. as a conclusion, it summarizes how darwin's ideas question contemporary science and, more particularly, the reflection in the field of education.