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Evolution in Modern Thought

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Author: Ernst Haeckel
Language: English
Wordcount: 95,186 / 304 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 36.1
LoC Category: Q
Downloads: 1,789
Added to site: 2007.08.30
mnybks.net#: 18051
Genre: Science
Excerpt

sors, whereas, as a matter of fact, he knew very little about them till after he had been for years at work. To write, as Samuel Butler did, "Buffon planted, Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck watered, but it was Mr. Darwin who said 'That fruit is ripe,' and shook it into his lap" ... seems to us a quite misleading version of the facts of the case. The second fallacy which the historical citation is a little apt to suggest is that the filiation of ideas is a simple problem. On the contrary, the history of an idea, like the pedigree of an organism, is often very intricate, and the evolution of the evolution-idea is bound up with the whole progress of the world. Thus in order to interpret Darwin's clear formulation of the idea of organic evolution and his convincing presentation of it, we have to do more than go back to his immediate predecessors, such as Buffon, Erasmus Darwin, and Lamarck; we have to inquire into the acceptance of evolutionary conceptions in regard to other orders of facts, such as the earth and the

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