The idea of evolution did not originate with Charles Darwin.
Some of the earliest references to evolutionary change are from
the ancient Greeks. The philosophers Empedocles (495–435 B.C.)
and Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) described concepts of change in living
organisms over time. Georges-Louis Buffon (1707–1788)
spent many years studying comparative anatomy. His observations
of structural variations in particular organs of related animals, and
especially his observations of vestigial structures, convinced him
that change must have occurred during the history of life on earth.
Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802), a physician and the grandfather of
Charles Darwin, was intensely interested in questions of origin
and change. He believed in the common ancestry of all organisms.