*Revised May 15, 2006*
I am still curious about other pre-Darwinian evolutionary ideas.
I've already looked at:
Part XIII Aristotle
Part XII Erasmus Darwin
Using the web site,Pre-Darwinian Theories of Evolution as a time-line guide, I looked at the Middle or Medieval time period which is from the defeat of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, approximately 500-1450 AD.
During the Middle Ages, the philosophy of Aristotle was rediscovered. Aristotle, a pupil of Plato, was a keen observationalist with a fondness for biology. He developed his own classification system, dividing the animals by the presence or abscence of blood. He believed that living matter had potential to grow into its perfect form.
There was discussion among scholars on how to reconcile the the Biblical account of creation with Aristotle's viewpoint. Debate and study into the matter was discouraged as disagreement with Church doctrine was punishable by death. However, Aristotle had considerable influence over the theologians of this time.
It is interesting that his thoughts should reappear.
Also in this series (Focus on Noah and the Flood):
Discussing Creationism: The Initial Argument
Part II: Two Questions about the Ark
Part III:The Volume of the Ark
Part IV: The Weight and Sturdiness of the Ark
Part V:What is a Myth
Part VI: Gilgamesh
Part VII: The Biblical View of Noah
Part VIII: Gathering of the Animals
Part IX Evolution
Part X The First Evolutionist
Part XI The Notebook