What Did People Believe Before Charles Darwin?


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Darwin is the most famous evolutionist but he wasn't the first. The first evolutionist in print is a Scottish landowner and timber merchant, Patrick Matthew. There was also Lamarck who believed creatures adapted to their environment and passed the adaptations to their offspring. There is growing evidence to suggest that Lamarck was at least partially correct because the variations in what have come to be known as Darwin's finches are dietary in origin. Diet of the parent birds affects expression of the gene responsible for bone morphogenetic protein, which in turn affects beak size and shape. In other words the variations in the finches are not caused by genetic mutations, much to the consternation of the neo-Darwinists.

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