Evolution

The idea of Evolution is an old one. It is older than the Darwinian hypothesis; it is older than Lamarck, who published his particular theory in 1809, the year that Darwin was born; it is older than Buffon or Kant. In a fairly definite form it is as old as Aristotle. The Evolution idea has thus itself evolved, and is the product of many centuries of thought. Yet it was only the last generation that began to give the idea serious consideration, and it is perhaps only the present that has granted it any general measure of acceptance; and it was Darwin who wrought this change, who raised the conception of Evolution from the status of a vague speculative idea to that of a well-grounded... alles anzeigen expand_more
The idea of Evolution is an old one. It is older than the Darwinian hypothesis; it is older than Lamarck, who published his particular theory in 1809, the year that Darwin was born; it is older than Buffon or Kant. In a fairly definite form it is as old as Aristotle. The Evolution idea has thus itself evolved, and is the product of many centuries of thought. Yet it was only the last generation that began to give the idea serious consideration, and it is perhaps only the present that has granted it any general measure of acceptance; and it was Darwin who wrought this change, who raised the conception of Evolution from the status of a vague speculative idea to that of a well-grounded theory, which appeals to the majority of educated minds as satisfactory and reasonable.

We do not here propose to sketch the development of the idea, either before or after Darwin; but only, in the first place, to state the grounds on which the belief in Evolution is based, and, in the second, to trace roughly the lines along which animal Evolution has proceeded. In the first few pages of this book, then, we shall endeavour to bring forward some of the evidence on which the modern Evolution theory rests... weniger anzeigen expand_less
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