Some essays published earlier as pamphlets
Samuel Moore, Edward Aveling, trans.
In natural philosophy, the dethroning of humanity from its position asa specially created species predates Darwin and can already be foundin early transmutationist publications. For example, Benoît deMaillet’s posthumously published Telliamed (1749, thetitle is his name in reverse)traces the origins of humans and other terrestrial animals from seacreatures. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposed chimpanzees as the ancestorsto humans in his Philosophie Zoologique (1809).The Scottish publisher andgeologist Robert Chambers’ anonymously published Vestiges ofCreation (1844) stirred controversy with its detailednaturalistic account of the origin of species. He proposed that thefirst organisms arose through spontaneous generation, and that allsubsequent organisms evolved from them. He argued that humans have asingle evolutionary origin: “The probability may now be assumedthat the human race sprung from one stock, which was at first in astate of simplicity, if not barbarism” (p. 305), a view starklydifferent from the Augustinian interpretation of humanity in aprelapsarian state of perfection.
Kahane, trans.Foreword by Friedrich A.
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