Darwinism is a theory developed by Charles Darwin with the help of many others. It states that natural selection is the most common cause of evolution. All species of organisms arise and grow through the natural selection of inherited variations that help increase the individual's ability to survive and reproduce in its environment.
1735 Carolus Linnaeus: He believed that God had created the world in a divine order from the simplest creatures up to human beings. He said God created struggle and competition to maintain the balance of nature. He was the one who classified species according to their similarities and differences. Linnaeus also observed plants from other parts of the world and saw there transformation when they grew in his home country Sweden thus showing what Darwin called natural selection. This influenced Darwin because it agreed with his evolution theory that species evolved and adapted when in different environments. Linnaeus planted the seeds for development on Darwin’s theory.
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon: He thought about life in ways that no one has before, that both life and Earth had a long history. He argued that life generated under the right conditions. He claimed that life just sprang into existence. As the climate cooled, many animals migrated to the tropics. According to Buffon, as species moved to new habitats the supply of organic particles that could create new individuals changed. From this, he claimed that it could account for the geographical distribution of similar species around the world. He also noticed that even though geographic areas were nearly the same, each place had unique wildlife that was similar to wildlife in other areas. He hypothesized that they were all related in some way and there environments was the direct cause of change rather than competition between species. These ideas were used by Darwin to help come up with the idea of natural selection. Buffon’s evidence was very similar to the evidence he found on his voyage. Buffon’s writings were used as evidence for Darwin when he presented to other scientists his findings while on the Beagle voyage.
1767 Georges Cuvier: He developed a theory about catastrophes and how fossils show that animal and plant species are destroyed by time and time again by floods and other natural disasters thus becoming extinct. From this, new life forms moved in from other areas. His widespread study of fossils helped him understand that certain fossils were linked with certain rock layers. This meant that there was a possibility of placing the layers in order by age of fossils. Cuvier was amongst the first to examine fossils from dinosaurs and recognized that animals in the distant past were different from today. He hypothesized that factors of change such as catastrophes must cause evolution. Cuvier’s idea of there being more than one ancestry for species helped shape Darwin's views of Natural Selection.
1795 James Hutton: He published a set of...