Variety is the spice of life
An American mastodon, Mammut americanum, from F.A. Lucas’ Animals Before Man in North America.
Throughout high school and college I was taught the same thing about the history of science. Young earth creationists had a stranglehold on explanations for life’s origins until the fateful year of 1859 when Charles Darwin convinced all but the most ardent fundamentalists that evolution by means of natural selection was a reality. It is a neat and tidy story, a tale in which one book changes the world forever, and it is completely wrong.
As I started to dig deeper into the history of science I found a complex story which I had never heard about before. Evolutionary ideas were percolating among naturalists