Evolutionary Ideas: Pre‐Darwinian

Abstract

The modern theory of evolution emerged in the mid‐nineteenth century, but ideas about the natural origin of species were discussed from the ancient Greeks onwards and were actively debated (although not widely accepted) by the time Darwin began his researches.

Keywords: chain of being; creation; evolution; Lamarckism; spontaneous generation

Further Reading

Appel T (1987) The Cuvier–Geoffroy Debate. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bowler PJ (1973) Bonnet and Buffon: theories of generation and the problem of species. Journal of the History of Biology 6: 259–281.

Bowler PJ (1974) Evolution in the Enlightenment. History of Science 12: 159–183.

Bowler PJ (1989) Evolution: the History of an Idea. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Burkhardt RW (1977) The Spirit of System: Lamarck and Evolutionary Biology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Chambers R (1994) Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, reprint, Secord J (ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Corsi P (1988) The Age of Lamarck. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Desmond A (1989) The Politics of Evolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Farley J (1977) The Spontaneous Generation Controversy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Gillispie CC (1959) Genesis and Geology (reprinted). New York: Harper.

Glass B, Temkin O and Straus W (1959) Forerunners of Darwin. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Greene JC (1959) The Death of Adam. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press.

Hodge MJS (1972) The universal gestation of nature: Chambers’ Vestiges. Journal of the History of Biology 5: 127–152.

Hooykaas R (1959) Natural Law and Divine Miracle: the Principle of Uniformity in Geology, Biology and History. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.

Jordanova L (1984) Lamarck. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lovejoy AO (1960) The Great Chain of Being (reprinted). New York: Harper.

Mayr E (1982) The Growth of Biological Thought. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Roger J (1997) Buffon: A Life in Natural History. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Roger J (1997) The Life Sciences in Eighteenth‐Century French Thought. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Secord J (1989) Behind the veil: Robert Chambers and Vestiges. In: Moore JR (ed.) History, Humanity and Evolution, pp. 156–194. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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How to Cite close
Bowler, Peter J(Apr 2001) Evolutionary Ideas: Pre‐Darwinian. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001691]