Relative dating using fossil identification

One man who managed to stir some doubt was Niels Stensen (or Nicolaus Steno).A religious man, Steno wasn't out to disprove the Bible; he used it as the basis for his work in piecing together old landscapes.A simple way to think of evolution is "descent with modification" — over many generations, organisms change into something different.People took a long time to figure out that evolution happened, and for many years, Western civilization relied largely on the Bible to understand how we got here.Evolution was one explanation, but many savants believed a series of catastrophes had been followed by fresh creations.One early evolutionist, Lamarck, proposed a form of evolution in 1800.

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Lead by scientists like Buffon, George Cuvier and James Hutton, the men (few women could participate then) who studied rocks and fossils accepted that the Earth had been around for thousands, if not millions, of years before people came on the scene.

Biological evolution is change in the characteristics of living organisms over generations.

Despite your vastly superior tastes in music and fashion, you probably look vaguely like your parents, just as they look vaguely like their parents.

He suggested that organisms could acquire needed characteristics for changing environments, an idea that has been laughed off by history, but his views were actually more nuanced than modern accounts usually relate.

Cuvier, regarded as the greatest comparative anatomist of his day, disdained Lamarckian "transmutation" but that didn't keep others from considering it, such as Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin's grandfather.

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