Evolutionary Thought During the 1700s William "Strata" Smith (1769-1839), employed by the English coal mining industry, developed the first accurate geologic map of England. He also, from his extensive travels, developed that Principle of Biological Succession. This idea states that each period of earth history has its own unique assemblages of fossils. In essence Smith fathered the science of stratigraphy, the correlation of rock layers based on (among other things) their fossil contents. Abraham Gottlob Werner and Baron Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) were among the foremost proponents of catastrophism , the theory that the earth and geological events had formed suddenly, as a result of some great catastrophe (such as Noah's flood). This view was a comfortable one for the times and thus was widely accepted. Cuvier eventually proposed that there had been several creations that occurred after catastrophies. Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) proposed 50-80 catastrophies and creations. Jean Baptiste de Lamarck
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