Archbishop James Usher from Ireland, calculated that the creation of Heaven and Earth was in 4004 B.C.
Jesus-trained physician Francesco Redi shows why fly maggots often crop in putrefied meat. They are not the result of a “spontaneous generation” but rather born from eggs too tiny for the naked eye to see.
Carl von Linne, a Swedish Botanist, classifies all life on earth. He divides life in kingdoms, classes, orders, genera and species. Linnaeus´s system does not imply that different species are related through evolution.
Comte de Buffon
Comte de Buffon spectaculates that living creatures evolve according to natural laws. He also suggests that humans and apes are related, and that life has descended from a single ancestor.
Archdeacon William Paley´s natural theology holds that not only God existence but his attributes as well are manifest in the intricate forms of nature. Paley singles out the eye as an organ with much complexity that should have been designed by an intelligent designer.
French naturalist Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck proposes that living things evolve to become more complex through time. He claims that “vital forces” within creatures help them adapt to environment. This are called acquired traits, which are then passed to future generations.
French naturalist Georges Cuvier attempts to explain them. He argues that a series of catastrophes wiped out certain life in the distant past.
Charles Lyell helps further this idea by arguing that slow-moving, gradual processes explain Earth´s geology. Darwin will apply Lyell´s notion of gradual change to his theory of how species evolve.
Charles Darwin begins his voyage around the world. Five years later, he is a different man. He is now fully committed into a life of Science, discovering the laws of nature.
A fossil in Germany Neander Valley fuels a debate over whether all humans are direct descendants of Adam and Eve. The skull looked like a modern human, with small differences. Neanderthal fossils will later fuel the debate over human evolution.
Alfred Russell Wallace is young explorer that writes Darwin from Malaysia seeking the older naturalist`s advice. He has a theory of how species might evolve.
Origin of Species
Darwin`s book is the most influential, it includes a wealth of evidence and proposes a coherent theory for evolution. “Just as domestic animals evolve through breeding or artificial selection, species in the world evolve by natural selection".
While on the origin of species dos not address human evolution, critics correctly assume that Darwin thinks humans are no exception.
Some of the prominent scientists continue to reject the idea of evolution, but only a few years after “On the Origin of Species” is publishes, evolution is mainstream science.
Decedent of Man
Darwin is now unabashedly and takes on human evolution. His new book also stresses the importance of “sexual selection” in driving evolution to life.
Thomas Huxley journey to the U.S to give public lectures. Marsh has recently discovered stunning fossils of ancient horses. Together, they pieced together the story of the evolution of the modern horse from a four-toes ancestor. They predict that an ancient, five-toed animal existed, and month later fossils of such animal were discovered.
Darwin`s body is laid to rest in a place of honor, near the grave of Sir Isaac Newton.
The discovery of radioactivity by physicist Antoine Henri Becquerel leads to stunning calculations of Earth`s age.
Pill Down Man
Critics and proponents of evolution eagerly await the discover of a “missing link” between humans and other primates, the fossil skull called Pill down Man seems to be this links. In the 1920s a model of the skill is even brought to the Scopes trial.
Man Like Ape
Raymond Dart announces that a prehistoric “man-like-ape” was found in a limestone quarry at Taungs, South Africa. Dart speculated that this man killed the baboon by extracting its brain for food.
First Anti Evolution Bill
Some 35 new anti evolution bills are proposed in 20 states and three states pass laws. Almost all of the South and some of the West are affected by some form of restriction on teaching evolution.
Publishers remove references to evolution from biology textbooks. The teaching of evolution is curbed around the country.
By an overwelming majority, the Tennesee Legislature passes a bill that makes it a misdemeanor for public school teacher teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as thaught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man had descended from a lowe order of animal.
Spurred by William Jennings Bryan and a growing grassroots movement, six Southern and border states consider anti-evolution proposals, two measures pass.
By the early 1940s the science of genetics has offered profound new insights into evolution.
With textbooks effectively censored by commercial concerns the teaching of evolution hits a low point.
The Constitutional limit on the establishment of religion was interpreted to mean only that government should not give explicit preference to any denomination. In1947 the Supreme Court rules said that neither a state or a federal government can pass laws which aid one religion, or prefer one religion over another, they should respect every religion equally.
Pope Pius XII
In his paper on human origins, Pope Pius XII considers evolution as a serious hypothesis worthy of in-depth study.
Origins of Life
With electricity currents to act as lightning and a soup of inorganic chemicals to simulate the conditions of ancient Earth, a young graduate student named Stanley Miller produces amino acids which are key chemical building blocks of life.
Science has known for decades that genes determine the traits of living things and that they are passes down through generation but it takes the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA to unlock the detail of what genes are and how they work.
Human and Apes
Breakthroughs in genetic science allow researchers to see striking similarities in the DNA blueprints for humans and apes.
Supreme Court on Evolution
In the wake of the Sputnik-era push for better science education, lawsuits begin challenging antievolutionist legislation in the South.
Reading DNA was hard and time consuming before,now with new technology, it is easy to read blueprints! This has made it easier and simpler for scientist to research how various animals have evolved over time.
Certain schools boards, passed a requirement that all text books must say that evolution is a theory and not a fact. It should not mess with the biblical standpoint, and everywhere it’s taught it must me stated that it is controversial.
Pope John Paul II
After Prius XII accepted the theory of evolution, Pope John Paul II took it to a completely different level. He mentioned: “it is indeed remarkable”, as well as, all of different thing of nature coming together was a great argument in favor of the theory.
A nationwide study sponsored by The Fordham Foundation laments that 19 U.S states do “a weal-to-reprehensible job of handling evolution in their science standards.”
The first draft of sequence of human genome, helped scientists observe our similarities as humans to chimpanzees, and even fruit flies and other animals. It also helps scientists learn about how humans have evolved throughout the years.