Evolutionary Theory: Anaximander And The Evolutionary Theory

1094 Words5 Pages

The world around us is a big one. Besides that, it is a very old one: The earth is estimated to be more than four billion years old! Despite earth 's long history, animals and plants emerged only 700 million and 600 million years ago, respectively, and humans, an estimated 200 thousand years ago. Animals and plants descended from earlier life forms. However, this has not always been known. Evolution has been a thoroughly studied theory that has its estimated origins with the Greeks of antiquity and that has continued up to modern times. But just how did evolutionary theory develop, and who were its major thinkers? A brief history of evolutionary thought and its significant proponents is vital to understanding just what shaped
…show more content…
611-546 BC. Anaximander 's most famous work, titled On Nature, summarizes his thoughts on the origin of the Earth and its life. Though the poem did not survive to this day, other writers referenced excerpts from the work. From the parts of the poem that have been reconstructed, Anaximander believed that the Earth, part of an open universe, began as a sphere covered by water. Plants and animals developed from the mud created as the Sun gradually dried up the water. Perhaps from observation of fossils, Anaximander, a bit of a proto-evolutionist, concluded that humans developed from fish. This a rudimentary beginning to evolutionary thinking.
“For we are all sprung from earth and water.”
Xenophanes, who studied under Anaximander, took an interest in various fields, including poetry, philosophy, and natural study. He thought of a universe interconnected and considered the clouds as the source of much natural phenomena. Xenophanes studied the fossils of former life, one of the first to do so, and made unique conclusions, including the idea that life began in a water environment.
“..the whole vital process of the earth takes place so gradually and in periods of time which are so

More about Evolutionary Theory: Anaximander And The Evolutionary Theory

Open Document