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Major Contributors to the Theory of Evolution Essay example

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Long before Charles Darwin, other people made important contributions to the historical development of the theory of evolution. It all started in 5th century BC when early Greek philosophers characterized the origin of the natural world as by the power of nature rather than by supernatural force. They proposed the theory of evolution to explain the basis of the natural world. Thus, evolutionary theory began with the Ionian philosopher Anaximander (611-546 BC) who proposed living beings gradually developed from water and that humans originated from animals. He proposed the world had arisen from an undifferentiated, indeterminate substance. In the 6th century BC, Xenophanes (570475 BC) developed Anaximander’s theories by using fossils as…show more content…
Its philosophy was dedicated to unveiling God’s plan by studying his creation. Species were individually created and designed by God for a purpose. This popular doctrine of a fixed, permanent and unchanging species overruled suggested ideas of evolution. Natural theologian Carolus Linnaeus (1701-1778) was the “Father of Taxonomy” and he developed the two-part system (genus and species) of naming organisms and grouping species into a hierarchy. He firmly believed that species were permanent and dedicated his life to classifying organisms to reveal the plan of God’s creation.
Through greater knowledge of the natural world, discoveries in the geological sciences greatly contributed to making Darwin’s theory of evolution possible. French geologist Buffon (1707-1778) came to recognize that sedimentary rocks were laid down at different times suggesting the age of the earth. French zoologist and paleontologist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) documented the succession of fossil species, noting the progressiveness of the fossil record – however, he was opposed to evolution and argued that boundaries between organisms from different strata were cause by past catastrophic events (catastrophism). Uniformitarian, Charles Lyell (1797-1875) suggested that various geological formations on Earth resulted from the cumulative effects of slow but continuous processes over long expanses of time – confirming that slow gradual changes over expansive amounts of time can yield substantial
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