Natural Selection and Man Around the World
In 1809 Jean-Baptiste Lamark wrote about how species adapt slowly to their environment and these adaptations benefit the species. Shortly after, in 1813 William Charles Wells wrote about the evolution of man and applies natural selection to the races of man. Later, even Darwin recognized that Wells had come up with natural selection, be he only applied it to man.
The 18th Century thinkers from “The Coffee-House Philosophical Society” loosely touch upon the idea of natural selection among the different races of man. These thinkers, such as Carolous Linnaeus, describe man in four or five different ways. Linnaeus organizes them based on their physical and cultural adaptations to their environment. David Hune goes further to say that all other races are inferior to the white man due to their lack of complex societal structure. Views such as these coincide with Darwins findings that transmutation is a process of diverging and branching not a ladder-like progression. It can then be suggested that these 18th Century thinkers believed that some form of evolution through natural selection created different “versions” of man.