- Greek philosophers held each species was separate from others, perfect and unchanging.
- Judeo-Christian accounts upheld that belief.
- Curvier (1769-1832) noticing gaps in fossil record ascribed to the theory of catastrophism.
- Catastrophism recognized only one time of creation.
- Local disasters caused local extirpations - those areas were repopulated from unaffected areas.
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829)
- New ideas regarding Earth history (uniformitarianism) lead to theories of gradual biologic change.
- Lamarck decided organisms change with changes in their environment. He used two popular ideas:
- Parts of the body used often become stronger / larger while that not used atrophies.
- Characteristics acquired by an individual can be inherited by offspring.
- Example: the stretching giraffe lengthens its neck and this acquired trait is passed onto its young.
- Counter example: If you worked out and got extra buff, would your children be stronger?
- Counter example: Cut the tails off mice for 20 generations...
- Others supported Lamarck including Erasmus Darwin (Grampa Darwin).
- Generally ideas of evolution were vilified.
- There is no support that acquired characteristics directly change genes.
- An individual's phenotypic changes do not change its genotype.
- Lamarck broached the idea that species change over time due to their environment.