Ernst Mayr

According to this third view, the world is of long duration and is forever changing; it is evolving. Even though this may seem strange to us moderns, the concept of evolution was at first alien to Western thought. The power of the Christian fundamentalist dogma was so strong that it required a long series of developments in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries before the idea of evolution became fully acceptable. As far as science is concerned, the acceptance of evolution meant that the world could no longer be considered merely as the seat of activity of physical laws but had to incorporate history and, more importantly, the observed changes in the living world in the course of time. Gradually the term “evolution” came to represent these changes.

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