Charles Darwin Was Not the First to Develop a Theory of Evolution

3779 Words Jun 17th, 2018 16 Pages
From his theories that he claimed were developed during his voyage, Darwin eventually wrote his Origin of Species and Descent of Man, which exploded into the world market over twenty years after his return home.

Wallace, King and Sanders wrote in Biosphere, The Realm of Life: "In 1859, Charles Darwin published a theory of evolution that implied that humans evolved from apes. . .The Darwinian revolution was the greatest paradigm shift in the history of biology, and it greatly changed the way that ordinary men and women viewed their own place in the world." (1)

World Book tells us: (2)". . .The study of the specimens from the voyage of the Beagle convinced Darwin that modern species had evolved from a few earlier ones. He
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For this reason, the origins of the Earth, the heavens, the seas, plants and animals, and men and women were wrapped in unquestioned dogmas, some of which hold true today. It is only comparatively recently, in societies and civilizations possessed of scientific knowledge and methods of investigation, that such dogmas have come under question."

Contrary to this opinion though, we find in fact that evolutionary thought is itself a rather old idea. The editors of Biology Today would agree:

"Much has been written on whether or not the Darwinian theory was original. Inevitably, historians have concluded that there was little novelty in what Darwin and Wallace were saying. Down through the centuries, from ancient Greek times on, various writers have suggested that new species can arise through the modification of old and that among all the possible organic types, the world contains only those that can survive the struggle for life." (8)

This is indeed interesting, that the concept that Darwin is given so much credit for was not even a very modern idea in his own day.

We find that Anaximander of Miletus (611 B.C.-546 B.C.) advanced the traditional evolutionary idea, already quite common in his day, that life first evolved from a type of pre-biotic soup, helped along a bit by the rays of the sun. He believed that the first animals developed from sea slime which had been evaporated by the suns rays. He also

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