Cuvier also argued that the anatomical characteristics distinguishing groups of animals are evidence that species have not changed since the Creation. Each species is so well coordinated, functionally and structurally, that it could not survive significant change. He further maintained that each species was created for its own special purpose and each organ for its . In denying , Cuvier disagreed with the views of his colleague , who published his theory of evolution in 1809, and eventually also with Geoffroy, who in 1825 published evidence concerning the evolution of crocodiles.
The famous example given by Lamarck was that of the giraffe, which he proposed has evolved over generations with each individual stretching its neck a little longer to reach higher and higher leaves, and that the small changes in each individual were passed on to the offspring and thus the necks of giraffes grew longer and longer.
Essay On the Theory of the Earth by Georges Cuvier …
Cuvier was critical of theories of evolution, including those proposed by his contemporaries Lamarck and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, which involved the gradual transmutation of one form into another. He repeatedly emphasised that his extensive experience with fossil material indicated one fossil form does not, as a rule, gradually change into a succeeding, distinct fossil form. Due to this and his understanding of animal anatomy and physiology, Cuvier strongly objected to any notion of . According to the University of California Museum of Paleontology, "Cuvier didn't believe in organic evolution, for any change in an organism's anatomy would have rendered it unable to survive. He studied the mummified cats and ibises that Geoffroy had brought back from Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, and showed they were no different from their living counterparts; Cuvier used this to support his claim that life forms didn't evolve over time."
Nevertheless, Darwin's explanation of evolution was fundamentally correct. In contrast to Lamarck, Darwin's idea was that the giraffe's neck became longer because .p177/8 These survivors passed their on, and in time the whole race got longer necks.It is not required, as Lamarck and early evolutionists thought, that the sandspur develop slowly over generations from a smooth seed by gradually getting longer and longer spikes, but rather the transformation from smooth or hairy seeds to spiked seeds can take place in one generation with a single mutation. This immediate morphological change would not create a "new species", rather this trait, if it is advantageous, could become dominant in a population and allow a sub-population to become successful in a new environment, possibly leading to the development of "new species" over time.At the age of eight Charles went off to a leading Christian boarding school, where he attended until his graduation in 1825. Darwin then went to Edinburgh University to study medicine to become a physician like his father. While at Edinburgh he learned about the ideas of Lamarck and other evolutionary concepts. Charles showed no interest in becoming a physician however, so in 1827 his father enrolled him in Christ's College at the University of Cambridge to become a clergyman. In his autobiography Darwin wrote:Despite this, Lamarck's beliefs about evolution retained some support because it was the best naturalistic explanation at the time for biological diversity and how well-suited life was to the environment. The majority view in Western Civilization, however, was still the theological view - that all life had been created at one time by God and that species were fixed. Indeed significant arguments against evolution were becoming more widespread before Darwin published his book, The Origin of Species.Lamarck went on in Zoological Philosophy to give his explanation for how life came to be as it is on earth. His explanation basically stated that all individuals can change a little bit during their lifetime, and that these small changes are passed on to their offspring. It is important to note that Lamarck did not believe in the widespread phenomena of extinction, in part because according to his ideas about how life changed it should make sense that all life forms can improve themselves, and thus natural selection did not play an important role in his ideas about evolution, but the idea of common descent was central to his works.