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Archaeological geology as a science had to precede the proposal of evolution, as an understanding of the immense age of the earth is necessary to understand evolution.
Cuvier established amongst the scientific community the fact of extinction.
Evolution only gained significant momentum after the theory of evolution, published by Charles Darwin in November 1859, implied that man was merely another product of life on earth, with origins shared by the other creatures and not its ultimate purpose. Wallace proposed the same theory at a joint presentation to the Linnaean Society in London .
Without the universal acceptance of the principle of evolution, there is no chance for the serious proposal of holism.
Scientists now have accurate methods (see below ) for dating fossils.
methods rely on characteristic faunal and geological patterns to bracket the period when the fossil existed.
At the onset of the 20th century, most scientists had accepted the great antiquity of the earth, the theory of evolution and that humanity had evolved from an ape ancestor, but by 1908 the fossil evidence of early man was scarce.
Biologists included principles from genetics in evolutionary theory during the 1920s and 1930s.
Between the mid-1930s and mid 1940s geneticists, systematists and palaeontologists collaborated to create a united approach to evolution, the "Modern Synthesis".
Ernst Mayr reduced all the hominid (human ancestor: (see hominid books)) fossil records to three species, A.
africanus (Dart, 1925) (including small brained australopithecines) (see books), H.