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Eventually, Sir Charles Lyell and Joseph Hooker proposed, with Darwin’s consent, that Wallace’s letter and two of Darwin’s earlier writings would be presented at a meeting of the Linnean Society of London. ”6 The meeting was attended by some thirty people, who did not include Darwin or Wallace. The papers generated little response and virtually no discussion, their significance apparently lost to those in attendance. Nor was it noticed by the president of the Linnean Society, Thomas Bell, who, in his annual address the following May, blandly stated that the past year had not been enlivened by “any of those striking discoveries which at once revolutionize” a branch of science.

Even if the dysfunctions, cruelties, and sadism of the living world were rare, which they are not, they would still need to be attributed to the Designer if the Designer had designed the living world. Predecessors and Epigones (Pre-Darwinian) The argument from design had been already proposed by some Fathers of the Church in the early centuries of the Christian era on the basis of the overall harmony and perfection of the universe. Augustine (354–430) affirms that “The world itself, by the perfect order of its changes and motions and by the great beauty of all things visible, proclaims .

In The Origin, published in 1859, he laid out the evidence demonstrating the evolution of organisms. Darwin did not use the term “evolution,” which did not have its current meaning, but referred to the evolution of organisms by the phrase “common descent with modification” and similar expressions. However, Darwin accomplished something much more important for intellectual history than demonstrating evolution. Indeed, I proffer that accumulating evidence for common descent with diversification may very well have been a subsidiary objective of Darwin’s masterpiece.

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