jan 1, 1817 - Cuvier sees catastrophes in fossil record (c. 1817)
The construction of canals and mines in the early 19th century unearths fossils of bizarre and extint creatures. French naturalist Georges Cuvier attempts to explain them. He argues that a series of catastrophes -- great floods and earthquakes -- wiped out certain life in the distant past. Bu Cuvier rails against the notion that past life evolved into present forms. He argues that modern creatures are far too complext to have evolved naturally, and insists that life "stood still" between catastrophes.
Added to timeline:
Rise of Evolution Timeline