Greek Materialist Philosophers
ca.: 600 - 400 B.C.
- Materialists - life arises from non-living matter
- Simple life forms give rise to more complex life forms
- Extinction of life forms that don't function properly
- Fossils are the remnants of extinct organisms
Classical Greek Philosophers
ca.: 400 B.C. to Early Christian Tradition
- Vitalists - life forms fundamentally different than non-living matter
- Essentialism - objects have ideal, eternal, unchanging "essence" (eidos)
- Scala Natura - unbroken "Great Chain of Being"
Important factors in the breakdown of the Classical (antievolutionary) Tradition
Renaissance to 18th Century
- Interest in the human body - art, anatomy, medicine, physiology - Renaissance Humanism.
- Taxonomy (first motivated by interest in medicines and agriculture)
- gaps occur in Scala Natura
- modification occurs within species
- Realities of fossils
- often not the remains of extant (living) forms
- found in unlikely locations (pleisiosaurs on mountain tops)
- occur in strata (layers)
- similar assemblages in different locations
- assemblages of simpler (older) organisms deeper than more complex (recent) organisms
- The age of the earth and Uniformitarianism - the observable, slow action of erosion, the slow rise and fall of ocean levels.