5. Charles Darwin Was the First to Conceive the Theory of Evolution
However, the basics for the modern theory of evolution were first articulated in 1745 by the French mathematician and philosopher Pierre Louis Maupertius. Additionally, Charles Darwin’s own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, wrote of the idea as early as 1796. However, few men did as much for the theory as did the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who came up with the first truly cohesive theory of evolution, in which he argued that there was a natural force that drove organisms up a ladder of complexity, and a second environmental force that adapted them to local environments through use and disuse of characteristics, differentiating them from other organisms - which was very close to Darwin’s concept of natural selection. Darwin’s greatest competitor, however, was the Englishman Alfred Wallace, who presented a very similar theory to Darwin’s to the prestigious Linnean Society in 1858 at the same time Darwin presented his. It was Darwin’s book, the Origin of the Species, however that made him world famous and is why to this very day it is Charles Darwin who gets all the credit (and, from some people’s perspective, all the blame) for the modern theory of evolution.
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