"Developments before Darwin's theory
In later editions of the book, Darwin traced evolutionary ideas as far back as Aristotle; the text he cites is a summary by Aristotle of the ideas of the earlier Greek philosopher Empedocles. Early Christian Church Fathers and Medieval European scholars interpreted the Genesis creation myth allegorically rather than as a literal historical account; organisms were described by their mythological and heraldic significance as well as by their physical form. Nature was widely believed to be unstable and capricious, with monstrous births from union between species, and spontaneous generation of life.
The Protestant Reformation inspired a literal interpretation of the Bible, with concepts of creation that conflicted with the findings of an emerging science seeking explanations congruent with the mechanical philosophy of René Descartes and the empiricism of the Baconian method. After the turmoil of the English Civil War, the Royal Society wanted to show... keep reading on reddit ➡