Pre & Post Darwinian

  • Period: Jan 18, 1400 to

    Pre & Post Darwin

  • John Ray

    John Ray
    The concept of genus and species was actually developed in the late 1600's by John Ray, an English naturalist and ordained minister. However, it was Linnaeus who used this system to name us Homo sapiens (literally, "wise men"). He also placed us in the order Primates (a larger, more inclusive category than our genus) along with all of the apes, monkeys, and prosimians. This was very controversial at the time since it implied that people were part of nature, along with other animals and plant
  • Carl Linné

    Carl Linné
    Carl Linné (1707-1778), is considered the father of modern taxonomy for his work in hierarchical classification of various organisms. At first, he believed in the fixed nature of species, but he was later swayed by hybridization experiments in plants, which could produce new species. However, he maintained his belief in special creation in the Garden of Eden, consistent with the Christian doctrine to which he was quite devoted. He still saw the new species created by plant hybridization to have
  • Immanuel Kant

    Immanuel Kant
    The German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) developed a concept of descent that is relatively close to modern thinking; he did in a way anticipate Darwinian thinking. Based on similarities between organisms, Kant speculated that they may have come from a single ancestral source. In a thoroughly modern speculation, he mused that "an orang-outang or a chimpanzee may develop the organs which serve for walking, grasping objects, and speaking-in short, that lie may evolve the structure of man, w
  • James Hutton

     James Hutton
    Lyell provided conclusive evidence for the theory of uniformitarianism , which had been developed originally by the late 18th century Scottish geologist, James Hutton. This held that the natural forces now changing the shape of the earth's surface have been operating in the past much the same way. In other words, the present is the key to understanding the past.
  • Erasmus Darwin

    Erasmus Darwin
    Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) was also a distinguished naturalist with his own intriguing ideas about evolution. While he never thought of natural selection, he did argue that all life could a have a single common ancestor, though he struggled with the concepts of a mechanism for this descent. He also discussed the effects of competition and sexual selection (see Other Types of Selection) on possible changes in species. Like Lamarck, Erasmus Darwin subscribed to a theory stating that the use or dis
  • Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's

    Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's
    Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's (1744-1829) theory of evolution was a good try for his time, but has now been discredited by experimental evidence and the much more plausible mechanism of modification proposed by Darwin. Lamarck saw species as not being fixed and immutable, but rather in a constantly changing state. He presented a multitude of different theories that he believed combined to explain descent with modification of these changing species.
  • George Louis Leclerc

    George Louis Leclerc
    French mathematician and naturalist, George Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon , actually said that living things do change through time. He speculated that this was somehow a result of influences from the environment or even chance. He believed that the earth must be much older than 6000 years. In 1774, in fact, he speculated that the earth must be at least 75,000 years old. He also suggested that humans and apes are related.
  • Thomas Malthus

    Thomas Malthus
    Thomas Malthus' (1766-1834) theory of population growth was in the end what inspired Darwin to develop the theory of natural selection. According to Malthus, populations produce many more offspring than can possibly survive on the limited resources generally available. According to Malthus, poverty, famine, and disease were natural outcomes that resulted from overpopulation. However, Malthus believed that divine forces were ultimately responsible for such outcomes, which, though natural, were de
  • Georges Cuvier

    Georges Cuvier
    Georges Cuvier possessed one of the finest minds in history. Almost single-handedly, he founded vertebrate paleontology as a scientific discipline and created the comparative method of organismal biology, an incredibly powerful tool. It was Cuvier who firmly established the fact of the extinction of past lifeforms. He contributed an immense amount of research in vertebrate and invertebrate zoology and paleontology, and also wrote and lectured on the history of science
  • Charles Lyell

    Charles Lyell
    English lawyer and geologist, Charles Lyell , to conclude that Cuvier's catastrophism theory was wrong. He believed that there primarily have been slower, progressive changes. In his three volume Principles of Geology (1830-1833), Lyell documented the fact that the earth must be very old and that it has been subject to the same sort of natural processes in the past that operate today in shaping the land. These forces include erosion, earthquakes, glacial movements, volcanoes.
  • Spontaneous generation

    Spontaneous generation or Equivocal generation is an obsolete principle regarding the origin of life from inanimate matter, which held that this process was a commonplace and everyday occurrence, as distinguished from univocal generation, or reproduction from parent.
  • Brian Alter

    An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters, states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution.
  • James Ussher

    James Ussher
    Judeo-Christian version of creationism was strongly reinforced by James Ussher , a 17th century Anglican archbishop of Armagh in Northern Ireland. By counting the generations of the Bible and adding them to modern history, he fixed the date of creation at October 23, 4004 B.C. During Ussher's lifetime, debate focused only on the details of his calculations rather than on the approach. Dr. Charles Lightfoot of Cambridge University in England had the last word.