The Evolution Of The Geological And Biological Science

1690 WordsMar 13, 20157 Pages
Prior to Darwin’s time, little thought had been paid to the notion of a species changing over time- even though it was happening on a scale visible in a human lifetime, up until shortly before Darwin’s time, the climate surrounding the geological and biological sciences was not conducive to the notion of biological change over time. Prior to the systems of evolution put forth by scientists such as Lamarck, Wallace, and Darwin, the salient belief concerning species was that they were “fixed”- there was a limited number of species which remained constant over time, unchanged since their instantaneous creation. Some proponents for the fixity of species argued for vitalism, that an organism possesses a non-physical inner force or energy that gives it the property of life, and that this was the separation between the living and the nonliving. This view of species fit most conveniently with the religious climate of the time, as it fit with the Biblical narrative of creation- God created the animals that walk upon the Earth, and as far as the general public was concerned, not much had changed then. This concept was known as preformationism, and stated that animals are “pre-formed” by an intelligent power, and are created as fixed variations on a common theme. This also required the de novo production of animals, conveniently accounted for in the Biblical creation story, and not surprisingly absent from nature. This theory of how the flora and fauna of the Earth came to be was
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