20

Some more pre-Charles Darwin discussions: Erasmus Darwin (Charles' grandfather): http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/Edarwin.html Jean-Batiste Lamarck: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism Robert Chambers "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" (heavily criticized at the time and with political undercurrents) James Hutton also wrote on the topic ...


14

The first known discussion concerning evolution are, to my knowledge, pre-Socratic philosophers. A more well known ancient publication evoking the idea may be De Rerum Natura, by Roman philosopher Lucretius. This answers your title question, I don't have sufficient knowledge to satisfactorily address the question in the body of the text. It might be worth ...


12

Perhaps Aristole, as usual ... See Historia Animalium (translated by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson), Book II.8 : Some animals share the properties of man and the quadrupeds, as the ape, the monkey, and the baboon. The monkey is a tailed ape. The baboon resembles the ape in form, only that it is bigger and stronger, more like a dog in face, and is more ...


12

To add to the two previous answers: Bernard-Germain-Etienne de Lacepède in "Histoire naturelle des poissons" (Natural History of Fishes) 1798 wrote the following: Une espèce peut s'éteindre de deux manières. Elle peut périr toute entière, et dans un temps très-court, lorsqu'une catastrophe violente bouleverse la portion de la surface du globe sur ...


9

Based on what I've read in Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, Cambridge MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002, I would assume that, in fact, the intellectual conflict was the opposite of what you propose. Darwin's variant of natural selection is founded in Lyell's theory of gradualism. That is, it assumed that ...


9

Even Weikart, whose book From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and Racism in Germany greatly overplays the connection, admits that Darwin generally tried to stay away from discussions of social, political and economic issues. In an 1869 letter to Hugo Thiel Darwin wrote "you apply to moral and social questions analogous views to those which I ...


7

This is a great question as it touches on the history-in-the-making, a revolution in molecular biology taking place in our lifetime. In the last two decades the "central dogma" of molecular biology, formulated by Watson and Crick after the discovery of DNA in 1952-1958, has been overthrown. The neat picture of genes, exclusive containers of hereditary ...


7

I remember reading something about it in Bertrand's Russell's "A History of Western Philosophy". Although it's a disputed work in its historical rigour, it does point out some predecessors to Darwin's theory of evolution. Regarding Anaximander: There was evolution also in the animal kingdom. Living creatures arose from the moist element as it was ...


6

Before the modern day scientists, there was the evolution concepts in the ancient cultures. For example consider the ancient vedic culture in India. Hinduism is the major religion in India, but it is only an extension of ancient Vedic culture which is widely known as Sanathana Dharma. Apart from religious rituals, Hinduism handles many more things. In one ...


6

First, the prediction of Neptune was a big win for science in the eyes of the general public. It was not exactly spotless though, especially in the eyes of the scientists. Here is from Kelley's How was Neptune Discovered?: "The world was excited by the find, for never before had mathematics predicted a natural object. This confidence in the results was ...


5

Yes. The menstrual cycle is surely one of the "some of our functions" that Darwin speaks of in this passage: "The progenitors of man must have been aquatic in their habits. … In the lunar or weekly recurrent periods of some of our functions we apparently still retain traces of our primordial birthplace, a shore washed by the tides." Descent of Man, Chapter ...


4

Popper's main idea about the demarcation problem : pseudo-science is untestable, is a marvel of simplicity : On this criterion of demarcation physics, chemistry, and (non-introspective) psychology, amongst others, are sciences, psychoanalysis is a pre-science (i.e., it undoubtedly contains useful and informative truths, but until such time as ...


4

The story is told in the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel#Rediscovery_of_Mendel.27s_work Mendel's work was not "forgotten" but rather "ignored" because it did not fit in the mainstream science of that time. But some people go to the libraries, and read old papers. So when discoveries which were "much ahead of its time" are ...


4

The question implicitly assumes that other theoretical explanations had been offered before the theory of symbiogenesis. I believe the truth is that up to a certain point around the later 60s, those active in the field were still too busy identifying constituents and properties of the plastids to think that the time was ripe to offer separate (...


4

This is adding to previous answers, but the philosopher Immanuel Kant is another interesting example. In the 1780-1790s, he appears to have had rather well-developed ideas about evolutionary change, a common origin of life, that also included humans: The agreement of so many genera of animals in a certain common schema, which appears to be fundamental not ...


3

It's important to distinguish evolution of organisms, i.e. change of their characters over generational time, and natural selection. Darwin's greatest achievement was the development of the idea of natural selection in great detail, along with providing a great deal of evidence for its action. (Alfred Russel Wallace developed a version of the idea of ...


3

In 1862, the physicist Kelvin published calculations that fixed the age of Earth at between 20 million and 400 million years.[18][19] He assumed that Earth had formed as a completely molten object, and determined the amount of time it would take for the near-surface to cool to its present temperature. This assumed initial condition was the linchpin for ...


3

The two notions that you refer to in your post are not necessarily the same: The "conservation of information" that is used as a principle in theoretical physics, particular in gedankenexperiments involving black holes, is more commonly known as unitarity. Unitarity became important with the advent of quantum mechanics around 1925 and was investigated ...


2

It seems to be a game of broken telephone with Boltzmann's formula for the entropy at the beginning, and Fisher's Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930) in the middle. Fisher's statistical measures of fitness are the reproductive value denoted $v$, "the present value of the future offspring", by analogy to compound interest in economics, and what he ...


2

Discovery of Neptune was indeed a significant step which increased the prestige of science but it was only one of a long chain of such events starting in 17th century. Let me give a short sample: discovery of Jupiter satellites with the newly discovered telescope (unlike the discovery of Neptune, this had a great practical application!), Newton's gravitation ...


2

(What I'm trying to say is too long for a comment, but I'm not sure it's an answer...) Are you sure this is an exact quote? A fast research in Google books of the text or of part of it has provided no results. The concept expressed is very similar to the following, from On the Origin of Species, Chapter III: Struggle for existence, page 61: Owing to ...


1

Unfortunately, Darwin was a Victorian, and while he did not view the races as arising from different genetic origins (monogenic versus polygenic), he did view the white races as evolutionarily more advanced than the black races. He had similar Victorian values on gender norms as well. This short article, Darwin, race and gender, by Steven Rose provides a ...


1

There was no "flow of scientific thinking" in the work of those who developed geocentric system. The flow is in the education of modern philosophers and writers who propagate the idea that "geocentrism" was somehow "incorrect". Geocentric theory was a valid scientific theory which predicted some phenomena correctly, within the accuracy of the measurement at ...


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