Intro to Evolution: Historical Perspective

 

Charles Darwin defined "evolution" as "descent with modification"

 

Our ideas about how evolution occurs date from mid-19TH century Europe

How did educated Europeans view the world in 1800?

            Evolution did not occur

                        ~ literal interpretation of Genesis not at odds with data

            Biology and religion had close relationship

                        Nature theology

            Typological species concept

            "Great Chain of Being"

 

Some events of 19TH century challenged this view

            Hutton/ Lyell (uniformitarianism)

            More travel

            Fossils

            Rev. Thomas Malthus