Charles Darwin Was Not The First To Develop A Theory Of Evolution

4874 words - 19 pages

From his theories that he claimed were developed during his voyage, Darwin eventually wrote his Origin of Species and Descent of Man, which exploded into the world market over twenty years after his return home.

Wallace, King and Sanders wrote in Biosphere, The Realm of Life: "In 1859, Charles Darwin published a theory of evolution that implied that humans evolved from apes. . .The Darwinian revolution was the greatest paradigm shift in the history of biology, and it greatly changed the way that ordinary men and women viewed their own place in the world." (1)

World Book tells us: (2)". . .The study of the specimens from the voyage of the Beagle convinced Darwin that modern species had evolved from a few earlier ones. He documented the evidence and first presented his theories on evolution to a meeting of scientists in 1858 . . . Darwin's theories shocked most people of his day, who believed that each species had been created by a separate divine act. His book, which is usually called simply The Origin of Species presented facts that disputed this belief. It caused a revolution in biological science and greatly affected religious thought." (3)

Two ideas have been propounded by evolutionists through the years and repeated ad hominem to the general public by Darwin's followers: That Darwin was the most important figure in the history of evolutionary thought, and that he had established evolution as a fact.

But is this indeed the case? Did Charles Darwin actually make some stunning new discovery of human origins, as is popularly believed, or was the concept of the evolution of species nothing new at all, and in fact was it something that had been discussed for centuries prior to his birth?

To begin our investigation into the truth of the matter, we may gain some insight from the dean of twentieth century anthropologists, William Howells, formerly of the University of Wisconsin and senior Anthropologist of Harvard University, who had this to say on the subject:

"Darwin is supposed, by those who have not read him, to be the man who thought of evolution and who said that men were descended from monkeys. Neither notion is even half true." (4)

The authors of Anthropology Today agree: "The belief that evolutionary theory began with Charles Darwin is widespread but incorrect."(5)

Even Leakey and Isaac, after their monumental tribute to Darwin in Human Ancestors, had to admit: "Darwin was not the first to consider the possibility that life, including human life, had originated through a prolonged process of gradual change involving natural rather than supernatural mechanisms."(6)

First of all, let us find out what evolution is supposed to be; let us define it. Evolution is the theory that all living organisms supposedly have transformed from one species into another through a gradual process of adaptation to changing environmental conditions, which transformation is said to have taken place through the extremely fortuitous...

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