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“Evolutionary Theory Before Darwin”
October 12 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDTFree
The easy narrative of how people thought of evolution in Europe before On the Origin of Species was that God created everything. Then Darwin came along and showed how it really is. While Darwin was revolutionary, he did not create his evolutionary theory from whole cloth.
This talk will explore more the concepts in the scientific field that set the foundation for Darwin. Scientists like Buffon, Cuvier, Lamarck, Chambers, Unger, and Darwin (Erasmus) were instrumental in developing theories on the origins of species and how they interrelate. While some concepts like the scala naturae (ladder of being) were wrong, they nevertheless provided a foundation for criticism which helped Darwin conceptualize his objections to current thought. Thoughts on how Darwin’s contributions can be thought of as part of a continuity as compared to a foundation for evolution will be the goal of the talk.
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