In the 1700s, the dominant philosophy,
, was dedicated
to studying the adaptations of organisms as evidence that the Creator had
designed each species for a purpose.
At this time, Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist, developed
, a system for naming species and grouping species into a
hierarchy of increasingly complex categories.
Darwin’s views were influenced by
, the relics or impressions of
organisms from the past, mineralized in
Sedimentary rocks form when mud and sand settle to the bottom of
seas, lakes, and marshes.
New layers of sediment cover older ones, creating layers of rock
Fossils within layers show that a succession of organisms have
populated Earth throughout time.
, the study of fossils, was largely developed by Georges
Cuvier, a French anatomist.
In particular, Cuvier documented the succession of fossil species in the
Cuvier recognized that extinction had been a common occurrence in
the history of life.
Instead of evolution, Cuvier advocated
boundaries between strata were due to local flood or drought that
destroyed the species then present.
Later, this area would be repopulated by species immigrating from
other unaffected areas.
2. Theories of geologic gradualism helped clear
the path for evolutionary biologists
In contrast to Cuvier’s catastrophism, James Hutton, a Scottish geologist,
proposed that the diversity of landforms (e.g., canyons) could be
explained by mechanisms
Hutton proposed a theory of