Darwin13 - Darwin's Precursors and Influences It is...

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Darwin's Precursors and Influences It is sometimes claimed by those who wish to denigrate the achievements of Charles Darwin that he was little more than a "serial plagiarist". He is supposed to have lifted his central ideas, without giving due credit, from a number of precursors including earlier evolutionists and formulators of the principle of natural selection. This essay aims to show that Darwin, like any scientist, had influences, but that he was honest in his theoretical development. The theory of evolution would be as valid even if Darwin had lifted it entire from every person who has ever been claimed as a precursor, but in the interests of historical accuracy, and to introduce the reader to the material, I have put this FAQ together. Since the material and secondary comment is scattered I thought it would be useful to have an introduction giving the references. Mere use of the word "evolution" is no indication that an author's theory of origins is the same as Darwin's, either before The Origin or after 1 . A good many of those who preceded Darwin believed that species were mutable - that is, they were not static and unchanging kinds - and many if not most of those biologists and geologists who followed him had a view of evolution that was based not on his own views, but on those of his precursors, up to the period of the
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Darwin13 - Darwin's Precursors and Influences It is...

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