Tautology Wiki

Evolution in Modern though[]



p.21 "...Prof. E. B. Poulton[31] has shown that the anthropologist James Cowles Prichard (1786-1848) must be included even in spite of himself among the precursors of Darwin. In some passages of the second edition of his Researches into the Physical History of Mankind (1826), he certainly talks evolution and anticipates Prof. Weismann in denying the transmission of acquired characters. He is, however, sadly self-contradictory and his evolutionism weakens in subsequent editions—the only ones that Darwin saw. Prof. Poulton finds in Prichard's work a recognition of the operation of Natural Selection. "After inquiring how it is that 'these varieties are developed and preserved in connexion with particular climates and differences of local situation,' he gives the following very significant answer: 'One cause which tends to maintain this relation is obvious. Individuals and families, and even whole colonies perish and disappear in climates for which they are, by peculiarity of constitution, [21]not adapted. Of this fact proofs have been already mentioned.'" Mr. Francis Darwin and Prof. A. C. Seward discuss Prichard's "anticipations" in More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. I. p. 43, and come to the conclusion that the evolutionary passages are entirely neutralised by others of an opposite trend. There is the same difficulty with Buffon....."

NOTES1: "...Individuals and colonies perish in climates for which they are ... not adapted....."

The fact they are dead implies they weren't adapted. Perish and "not adapted" says the same thing twice, it alludes to the same fact but doesn't independently derive the actual reason they died. Tautological thinking results in confusing cause with effect.

Grant Allen[]

Grant Allen: "Spencer and Darwin." Fortnightly Review 67 (February 1897)

Grant Allen , Gentleman's Magazine

Edward Clodd , Pioneers of Evolution from http://digital.lib.umn.edu/cgi-bin/Ebind2html/vic_allespen?seq=1

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22430/22430-h/22430-h.htm#II Evolution in Modern thought - 1890 around heckel

Samuel Butler , Evolution old and new & Luck and Cunning

See Prof. Patrick Geddes's article "Variation and Selection," Encyclopaedia

Britannica (9th edit.) 1888. James Watt anticipated selection theory.

Spencer on Population in westminister review 1852:

"....only those who do advance under it eventually survive...... those left behind to continue the race must be those left behind to continue the race must be those in whome the power of self-preservation is the greatest, must be the SELECT of their generation....."

".... in Mr. Spencer's own words the paragraph contains merely a passing recognition of the SELECTIVE process, and indicates no suspicion of the enormous range of its effects, or of the conditions under which a large part of its effects are produced....

First usage of ToE[]

(NOTES: The way Spencer used ToE below implies that the term was coined before him ,probably as Doctrine of Derivation was rephrased as Theory of Evolution in some magazine or journal around 1840's perhaps. We must find the first instance to show that ToE was a term used to describe a concept within a knowledge context that had nothing to do with genes.)

Those who cavalierly reject the Theory of Evolution as not being adequately supported by facts, seem to forget that their own theory is supported by no facts at all. Like the majority of men who are born to a given belief, they demand the most rigorous proof of any adverse belief, but assume that their own needs none. Here we find, scattered over the globe, vegetable and animal organisms numbering, of the one kind (according to Humboldt), some 320,000 species, and of the other, some 2,000,000 species (see Carpenter); and if to these we add the numbers of animal and vegetable species which have become extinct, we may safely estimate the number of species that have existed, and are existing, on the Earth, at not less than ten millions. Well, which is the most rational theory about these ten millions of species? Is it most likely that there have been ten millions of special creations? or is it most likely that, by continual modifications due to change of circumstances, ten millions of varieties have been produced, as varieties are being produced still?


Herbert Spencer was that man. He gave us both the concept and the name by which we habitually know it. The words Theory of Evolution occur already, seven years before Darwin, in the Leader essay.


In 1852 , an article in the Leader on The Development Hypothesis where the evolution of species of plants and animals was definitely set forth.

In 1854 British Quarterly review, on "The Genesis of Science" where Intellectual Evolution was mapped out.

In 1855 , The Principles of Psychology where Mental Evolution is formulated...

In 1857 in Westminiser Review on "Progress , its Law and Cause" where the conception of Evolution at large was attained fully. From these came System of synthetic Philosophy in Jan. 1858

Thus, so far is it from true that Spencer is a disciple of Darwin , that he had actually arrived at the idea of Organic Evolution, and of Evolution in General, including Cosmic Evolution, Planetary Evolution, Geological Evolution, Organic Evolution, Human Evolution, Psychological Evolution, Sociological Evolution, and Linguistic Evolution, before Darwin had published one word upon the subject. cl

Darwin letter[]

Darwin put the issue very clearly in 1860 in a letter to Professor Baden Powell:

No educated person, not even the most ignorant, could suppose that I meant to arrogate to myself the origination of the doctrine that species had not been independently created. The only novelty in my work is the attempt to explain how species became modified, & to a certain extent how the theory of descent explains certain large classes of facts; & in these respects I received no assistance from my predecessors.