Aristotle on Natural Selection

Aristotle

The fact that Charles Darwin originated the concept of natural selection is a popluar notion. However, evolutionary concepts long predated The Origin of Species. In the Historical Sketch section of the sixth edition, even Darwin discusses the contributions of forty-four authors that had previously written on the subject of evolution, including Aristotle.

Darwin recognized that Aristotle’s concepts were compatible with natural selection. On the evolution of teeth, in The Origin of Species, Darwin wrote,

“We here see the principle of natural selection shadowed forth, but how little Aristotle fully comprehended the principle, is shown by his remarks on the formation of the teeth.”

Even though Darwin did not think Aristotle “fully comprehended” natural selection, what can be “fully comprehended” today is that the concept of natural selection pre-dated Darwin.

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Darwin, Then and Now is a journey through the most amazing story in the history of science - the history of evolution; encapsulating who Darwin was, what he said, and what scientists have discovered since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859.

With over 1,000 references, Darwin’s life, climaxing with the search for a natural law of evolution, is investigated in the context of the scientific evidence since discovered in the fossil record, embryology, molecular biology and genetics. Darwin The and Now is a historical chronicle of the rise and fall of biological evolution.

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