All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident: Arthur Schopenhauer -- In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual: Galileo Galilei -- Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it: Albert Einstein -- When you have eliminated the impossible, what ever remains, however improbable must be the truth: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- We all agree that your theory is crazy, but is it crazy enough? Niels Bohr -- Whenever a true theory appears, it will be its own evidence. Its test is that it will explain all phenomena: Ralph Waldo Emerson -- Since the mathematicians invaded Relativity, I do not understand it myself anymore: Albert Einstein -- I would say that the aether is a medium invented by man for the purpose of propagating his misconceptions from one place to another: W.F.G. Swann: -- Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone: Albert Einstein -- Physics is mathematical not because we know so much about the physical world, but because we know so little: Bertrand Russell -- If I could explain it to the average person, I would not have been worth the Nobel Prize: R. P. Feynman -- I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use: Galileo Galilei -- How dare we speak of the laws of chance? Is not chance the antithesis of all law?: Bertrand Russell -- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I´m not sure about the former: Albert Einstein -- The glory of mathematics is that you don't have to say what you are talking about: Richard Feynman -- Anything is possible if you don´t know what you are talking about: Author Unknown -- In life, everything is relative - except Einstein´s theory: Leonid S. Sukhorukov -- Don´\'t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you´ll have to ram them down people´s throats: Howard Aiken --A day will come undoubtedly when the ether will be discarded as useless: H. Poincaré -- First they tell you you´re wrong and they can prove it; then they tell you you´re right but it isn´t important; then they tell you it´s important but they knew it all along: Charles Kettering -- It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world: Aristotle -- The opposite of a true statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth: Niels Bohr -- A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it: Max Planck -- Euclid taught me that without assumptions there is no proof. Therefore, in any argument, examine the assumptions: Eric Temple Bell -- Half this game is ninety percent mental: Yogi Berra

Evolution Debate in the 18th-19th Centuries


Leon, Antonio


Research Papers


Ecology - Life/Social Sciences



Date Published:

June 16, 2022




adaptation, anagenesis, catastrophism, cladogenesis, Darwin theory of evolution, Enlightenment, essentialist, Great Chain of Beings, heredity, heredity, Lamarckism, natural selection, Scientific Revolution, transformism, uniformism, vitalism


The publication in 1859 of The Origin of Species can be considered a decisive event in the history of Evolutionary biology. A century earlier, Buffon had dared to raise the possibility of organic evolution in scientific terms, although he himself ended up rejecting such a possibility. The issue was picked up and developed by Lamarck, especially in his Zoological Philosophy (1809). Buffon, Lamarck and Darwin were, therefore, the three great protagonists of the birth and scientific consolidation of evolutionary ideas during the 18th and 19th centuries. There were other authors, but their interventions were either indirect and involuntary (as in the cases of Cuvier or Lyell) or of little scientific significance (as in the case of Chambers). The scientific birth of the theory of organic evolution meant a revolutionary change in the conception of nature, with profound implications in other areas of knowledge, as well as in social and religious attitude. Its development caused a heated and long debate between its numerous detractors and its few defenders, although in the last third of the 19th century a considerable part of the naturalists had already accepted the new ideas. The debate is still open today, not so much inside as outside the scientific community, where the animal kinship of man has not been fully assimilated.

<<< Back