18th AND 19th century scientists Pt 4

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18th AND 19th century scientists Pt 4

Message  Admin le Ven 30 Mar - 0:38

And now we will view the armchair philosophers.
Hardly one of them ever set foot in field research or entered
the door of a science laboratory, yet they founded
the modern theory of evolution:

*Emmanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a do-nothing
expert. In his 1734 book, Principia, he theorized that a
rapidly rotating nebula formed itself into our solar system
of sun and planets. He claimed that he obtained the idea
from spirits during a séance. It is significant that the
nebular hypothesis theory originated from such a

*Comte de Buffon (1707-1788) was a dissolute phi- losopher who, unable to improve on the work of Linnaeus,
spent his time criticizing him. He theorized that species
originated from one another and that a chunk was
torn out of the sun, which became our planet. As with
the other philosophers, he presented no evidence in support
of his theories.

*Jean-Baptist Lamarck (1744-1829) made a name
for himself by theorizing. He accomplished little else of
significance. He laid the foundation of modern evolutionary
theory, with his concept of “inheritance of acquired
characteristics,” which was later given the name
Lamarckism. In 1809, he published a book, Philosophie
zoologique, in which he declared that the giraffe got its
long neck by stretching it up to reach the higher branches,
and birds that lived in water grew webbed feet. According
to that, if you pull hard on your feet, you will gradually
increase their length; and, if you decide in your mind to do
so, you can grow hair on your bald head, and your offspring
will never be bald. This is science?

*Lamarck’s other erroneous contribution to evolution
was the theory of uniformitarianism. This is the
conjecture that all earlier ages on earth were exactly
as they are today, calm and peaceful with no worldwide
Flood or other great catastrophes.

*Robert Chambers (1802-1883) was a spiritualist
who regularly communicated with spirits. As a result
of his contacts, he wrote the first popular evolution book
in all of Britain. Called Vestiges of Creation (1844), it was
printed 15 years before *Charles Darwin’s book, Origin
of the Species.

Messages : 563
Date d'inscription : 10/03/2012
Localisation : Paris

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