>I've heard more than once before that the idea of natural selection was
>already widely circulated prior to Origins of the Species, but then it
>was understood as a stabilizing force. Darwin combined that with Adam
>Smith's ideas to develop our modern concept of NS. Is this accurate?
I have read that in the 1700's, about the time of Buffon in France,
deMaupertis wrote on subjects we would call natural selection and survival
of the fittest, and the Buffon and Bonnet circulated ideas of upward
evolution, revived from the writings of Empedocles, Democritus, and other