• Somaya Nasr
  • BBC News Arabic

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Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, published in 1859, is considered a cornerstone of evolutionary biology

Although more than 160 years have passed since the publication of the book “On the Origin of Species” by the British scientist Charles Darwin, it is still considered one of the most important scientific books, and even the most important at all, according to some surveys conducted in recent years, as many see that it changed the way Scientists and ordinary people think about many things related to life on planet Earth.

The genius of Charles Darwin, and the way he turned biology upside down when his book On the Origin of Species was published on November 24, 1859, sometimes gives the false impression that the theory of evolution has been completely missed by the famous scientist. Preliminaries or precedents. But scientific history proves that the raw scientific materials on which Darwin built his theory were known decades earlier.

Geologists and archaeologists had already provided strong evidence that life appeared on the planet a long time ago, that it changed over time, and that many types of living creatures were subjected to extinction. Naturalists, natural historians, and embryologists also discovered, perhaps without realizing it, many things that Darwin used as evidence to prove his theory.

Some precursors of the theory of evolution in the modern era

The “Lamarckian” theory: French scientist Jean-Baptiste Chevalier de Lamarck (1744-1829) was the first naturalist to write at length that the long-term “inheritance of acquired characteristics” could lead to a change in species. His evolutionary theory is based on the principle that physical change that occurs in organisms – such as the development of an organ or limb, for example, through increased use of it, can be transmitted to offspring.

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