Major Players and Events in Evolution

  • John Ray publishes "The History of Plants"

    John Ray publishes "The History of Plants"
    Ray was the first person to produce a biological definition of what a species is. he did so in his book "The History of Plants".
  • Comte de Buffon

    Comte de Buffon
    (1707-1788) One of his most significant contributions to the biological sciences was his insistence that natural phenomena must be explained by natural laws rather than theological doctrine.
  • Charles Lyell

    Charles Lyell
    (1726-1797) Lyell provided conclusive evidence for the theory of uniformitarianism.
  • Pierre Louis Maupertuis

    Pierre Louis Maupertuis
    Maupertuis wrote of natural modifications occurring during reproduction and accumulating over many generations to produce new species.
  • Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire

    (15 April 1772 – 19 June 1844) was a French naturalist who established the principle of "unity of composition". He was a colleague of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and expanded and defended Lamarck's evolutionary theories.
  • Carl Linnaeus

    Carl Linnaeus
    He was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology.
  • Gregor Mendel

    Gregor Mendel
    Gregor Mendel, through his work on pea plants, discovered the fundamental laws of inheritance.Mendel showed that the inheritance of these traits follows particular laws, which were later named after him. The significance of Mendel's work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century. The independent rediscovery of these laws formed the foundation of the modern science of genetics.
  • Alfred Russel Wallace

    Alfred Russel Wallace
    He sent an article outlining his theory of evolution due to natural selection to Darwin; it was published, along with a description of Darwin's own theory, in the same year.
  • The Origin of Species is published

    The Origin of Species is published
    Charles Darwin's book "The Origin of Species" is published,
  • Hugo de Vries publishes "Intracellular Pangenesis"

    Hugo de Vries publishes "Intracellular Pangenesis"
    Hugo de Vries publishes "Intracellular Pangenesis" in which, based on a modified version of Charles Darwin's theory of Pangenesis of 1868, he postulated that different characters have different hereditary carriers. He specifically postulated that inheritance of specific traits in organisms comes in particles.
  • August Weismann

    August Weismann
    His main contribution was the germ plasm theory, according to which (in a multicellular organism) inheritance only takes place by means of the germ cells—the gametes such as egg cells and sperm cells.
  • William Bateson

    William Bateson
    The biologist who founded and named the science of genetics and whose experiments provided evidence basic to the modern understanding of heredity.
  • Thomas Hunt Morgan

    Thomas Hunt Morgan
    Thomas Hunt Morgan established the chromosomal theory of inheritance. As a young boy in Lexington, Kentucky, Morgan loved exploring the countryside collecting samples of wild life and fossils. At the State University of Kentucky, Morgan's course load was heavy in the natural sciences.
  • G. Ledyard Stebbins

    G. Ledyard Stebbins
    He was an American botanist and geneticist who is widely regarded as one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century.
  • The Discovery of DNA

    The Discovery of DNA
    The discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid, otherwise known as DNA, was made by Frederick Miescher, but the structure was discovered by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953.
  • The publication of the structure of DNA

    The publication of the structure of DNA
    The publication of the structure of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick demonstrated a physical basis for inheritance.
  • Ernst Mayr

    Ernst Mayr
    He was one of the 20th century's leading evolutionary biologists. He was also a renowned taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, historian of science, and naturalist.
  • Human Genome

    Human Genome
    Human Genome Sequenced