Lamark advocated a theory of evolution which included the idea that traits could be acquired and then passed along to offspring.
Sir Charles Lyell was born.
The foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation today
Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England.
Alfred Russel Wallace was born.
Identified the Wallace Line that divides the Indonesian archipelago into two distinct parts, one in which animals relate to those of Australia, and one in which the species are of Asian origin. He was considered the 19th century's leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species. Wallace was one of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the 19th century and made other contributions to the development of evolutionary theory besides being co-discoverer of natural selection
Charles Darwin graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge with a B.A. degree.
Charles Darwin left England aboard The Beagle.
Employed as ship's naturalist
Ernst Haeckel was born in Potsdam, Germany.
Haeckel was an influential zoologist whose work on evolution served to inspire some of the racist theories of the Nazis.
The HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, finally reaches Galapagos Islands.
Darwin returned to England after a five-year voyage on the Beagle.
Charles Darwin received a monograph from Alfred Russel Wallace
They essentially summaraised Darwins on theories on evolution, thus inspiring him to publish his work sooner than he planned.
Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was first published.
All 1,250 copies of the first printing were sold out on the very first day.
Huxely vs. Wilberforce debate
Thomas Henry Huxley and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce of the Church of England engaged in their famous debate on Darwin's theory of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky was born
Dobzhansky's work was instrumental in spreading the idea that it is through mutations in genes that natural selection takes place.
Tennessee Governor Austin Peay signed into law a prohibition against the teaching of evolution in public schools.
Later that year John Scopes would violate the law, leading to the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial.
The infamous Scopes Monkey Trial began in Dayton, Tennessee.
Stephen Jay Gould, American paleontologist, was born.
Gould's most significant contribution to science was the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which he developed with Niles Eldredge in 1972. The theory proposes that most evolution is marked by long periods of evolutionary stability, which is punctuated by rare instances of branching evolution. The theory was contrasted against phyletic gradualism, the popular idea that evolutionary change is marked by a pattern of smooth and continuous change in the fossil record.
Pope Pius XII issued the encyclical Humani Generis,
It condemned ideologies which threatened Roman Catholic faith but allowed that evolution did not necesarily conflict with Christianity.
Epperson v. Arkansas
The Supreme Court found that Arkansas' law prohibiting the teaching of evolution was unconstitutional because the motivation was based on a literal reading of Genesis, not science.
McClean v. Arkansas
A federal judge found that Arkansas' "balanced treatment" law mandating equal treatment of creation science with evolution was unconstitutional.