-Advertisement-

Introduction

Chronology of Evolution

Barbara W. Heavers and Judith K. Wood

345 B.P.
Plato's Theory of Forms said all life forms represent an imperfect replica of a perfect heavenly model.

1749
G. L. Buffon's Histoire Naturelle implied or overtly assumed organic evolution.

1798
T. R. Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population, as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society rejected the idea that in animals some of the offspring will possess the desirable qualities of the parents in a greater degree.

1800
Erasmus Darwin's Zoonomia attempted to explain organic life according to evolutionary principles.

1809
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's Philosophie Zoologique presented a comprehensive theory of transformism. Charles Darwin was born.

1830
First volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology interprets earth history as a process of gradual change.

1831
Darwin leaves England on H.M.S. Beagle, embarking on a five-year voyage of discovery.

1848
Asa Gray published Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States and founded systematic botany in the U.S. He later became Darwin's chief advocate in the U.S.

1858
Alfred R. Wallace proposed in a letter to C. Darwin a theory of evolution by means of natural selection based on his work in Indonesia. The two agreed to present their papers on the same occasion to the Linnean Society.

1859
Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species; or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

1863
Thomas Henry Huxley's Man's Place in Nature stressed the similarities between humans and apes.

1863
Lyell's Antiquity of Man popularized the belief that the human race is much older than allowed by the biblical time scale.

1866
Ernst Haeckel's Generelle Morphologie advocated a radically materialist interpretation of progressive evolution. Gregor Mendel published the results of his investigations of the inheritance of "factors" in pea plants.

1871
Charles Darwin published The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex.

1882
Darwin died and was buried in Westminster Abbey next to Sir Isaac Newton.

1893
August Weismann's The Germ Plasm stressed the role of "hard" heredity and precipitated a debate on Lamarckism.

1900
Correns, Tschermak and De Vries rediscovered Gregor Mendel's laws of heredity. Hugo De Vries went on to advocate evolution by sudden "mutations."

1902
W. Sutton pointed out the interrelationships between cytology and Mendelism, closing the gap between cell morphology and heredity.

1908
T. H. Morgan, the father of Drosophila genetics, discovered sex-linked inheritance.

G. H. Hardy and W. Weinberg recognized that evolutionary change is not automatic, that it occurs only when something disturbs the genetic equilibrium.

1912
Alfred Wegener, a geophysicist proposed the theory of continental drift and an earlier supercontinent called Pangaea, which split to form the current continents.

1927
H. J. Muller discovered that exposure to x-rays greatly increased mutation rate.

1928
Fred Griffith proposed that some unknown "principle" had transformed the harmless R strain of Diplococcus to the virulent S strain.

1930
Ronald Aylmer Fisher's Genetical Theory of Natural Selection published.

1932
J. B. S. Haldane's The Causes of Evolution suggested that altruistic acts toward close relatives might favor the survival and spread of those of the altruist's genes that are shared by relatives.

1937
T. Dobzhansky, an architect of the evolutionary synthesis, published Genetics and Origin of Species, which combined the best elements of both genetics and systematics.

1942
Ernst Mayr, another architect of the evolutionary synthesis, published Systematics and the Origin of Species .

1944
Julian Huxley's Evolution: The Modern Synthesis and George Gaylord Simpson's Tempo and Mode in Evolution consolidated the synthesis of Darwinism and genetics.

O. Avery, M. McCarty, and C. MacLeod determined that DNA was the substance that changed hereditary patterns in bacteria and must be the heredity material.

1951
Barbara McClintock published her hypothesis of transposable elements to explain color variations in corn.

1953
J. D. Watson and F. H. C. Crick published the structure for DNA in Nature.

1957
H.D. Kettlewell studied the peppered moth population in England and observed that light-colored moths survived best on trees with healthy lichens and dark-colored moths on lichens darkened by industrial pollution. The result was a difference in the allelic frequencies of dark and light moths in polluted and clean woods.

1966
J. L. Hubby and R. C. Lewontin (Genetics 54:577-594) studied enzyme genes in natural populations using the new method of electrophoresis.

Jacob, Lwoff, and Monod shared the Nobel Prize for their discoveries concerning the genetics of prokaryotes and the Operon theory.

1968
J. D. Watson published The Double Helix , a history of the discovery of the structure of DNA.

F. J. Ayala in studies with Drosophila demonstrated that populations with variation adapted twice as fast as uniform populations.

1971
Kimura's Theoretical Aspects of Population Genetics placed him in the neutralist school along with Lewontin on interpretations of polymorphism.

1975
Edward O. Wilson's Sociobiology precipitated a controversy over the use of natural selection to explain human behavior.

1977
In Ontogeny and Phylogeny, Stephen J. Gould, a co-developer of the theory of punctuated equilibrium, says the fossil record does not support gradualism. The theory provides an explanation of the gaps existing in the fossil record.

1977
T. Dobzhansky's Evolution provides a longer, more technical but still conventional, up-to-date treatment of the synthetic theory.

1980
Fredrich Sanger produced the first complete sequence of a genome in a bacteriophage.

1985
Kary Mullis invented the PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which allows DNA to be synthesized for genetic engineering, forensics, and DNA sequencing.

1990's
The human genome project was begun.

On to Time
Back to Index


Woodrow Wilson Index


Activities Exchange Index


 
Custom Search on the AE Site

 

-Advertisement-