Answer to Question #197572 in Biology for Savita Batra

Question #197572

Briefly discuss the evolutionary thinking of pre-Darwinian period.

Expert's answer

Before Darwin's theory of evolution, Lamarckianism and Catastrophism were the predominant theories of species changes. In particular, Lamarck believed that life can appear spontaneously from inanimate materials while a constant striving for perfection leads to gradual changes of the organisms into more complex forms. Finally, Lamarck thought that body parts altered during the lifetime and this acquired change could be inherited by its offspring. Catastrophism was proposed by George Cuvier. He was the first scientist to document the extinction of ancient animals. However, he believed that species are foxed and do not change with time. However, sudden natural catastrophes lead to the global death of certain species (i.e., dinosaurs).

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