IN CONTEXT

KEY FIGURE

Charles Darwin (1809–82)

BEFORE

1788 In France, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, completes his 36-volume Histoire Naturelle, outlining early ideas about evolution.

1809 Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposes that creatures evolve by inheriting acquired traits.

AFTER

1869 Friedrich Miescher, a Swiss doctor, discovers DNA, although its genetic role is not yet understood.

1900 The laws of inheritance based on the pea plant experiments of Austrian scientist Gregor Mendel in the mid-1800s are rediscovered.

1942 British biologist Julian Huxley coins the term “modern synthesis” for the mechanisms thought to produce evolution. ...

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