Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
What is the history of evolutionary theory?


History of evolutionary thought
In this section, you will see how study in four disciplinary areas — Earth's history, life's history, mechanisms of evolution, and development and genetics — has contributed to our current understanding of evolution.

This website, which was produced to accompany an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, describes Darwin's life and how his ideas transformed our understanding of the living world.
This article appears on the American Museum of Natural History website.

The complete works of Charles Darwin online
This website makes the largest collection of Darwin's works ever assembled freely available online. Browse On the Origin of Species, read Darwin's letters, or analyze his field notebooks.
This resource appears at darwin-online.org.uk.

Webcast: Endless forms most beautiful
In lecture one of a four part series, evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll discusses Darwin and his two most important ideas: natural selection and common ancestry.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Darwin and Wallace: Natural selection
Darwin and Wallace came up with the idea of natural selection, but their idea of how evolution occurs was not without predecessors.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

Ernst Haeckel: Early evolution and development
Ernst Haeckel initiated early studies of development and how it relates to evolution; however, his most famous idea (that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny) is now known to be inaccurate.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

Jean Baptiste Lamarck: Early concepts of evolution
Darwin was not the first to propose that life evolves; Lamarck and naturalists before him also considered the possibility that species change over time.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

Evo in the news: Happy 200th, Darwin!
This news brief, from February 2009, celebrates Darwin's bicentennial by examining what we've learned about the evolution of the Galapagos finches since Darwin's time.

Species, speciation and the environment  Advanced
Niles Eldredge gives a historical overview of scientists' thinking on the process of speciation, along with modern perspectives on this issue.
This article appears at ActionBioscience.org.