Scottish publisher and popular writer whose anonymous Vestiges created an international sensation in 1844. Condemned not only by devout naturalists such as Agassiz and Sedgwick, but by future evolutionists such as Gray, Huxley, and Darwin himself. Much of his theory was based on the teleological arguments of Lamarck and Geoffroy, with its progressionistic overtones, grounding in an analogy with ontogenetic development, belief in spontaneous generation, and depiction of parallel, unbranched evolutionary lineages. Unlike them, he gave the theory a religious sheen that made it more acceptable.
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