Radio 3

The Origins of The Origin

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Charles Darwin's 'On the Origins of Species' was published in 1859, but French natural philosophers wrote about evolution a century earlier. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck thought that animals could adapt to new environments through their own efforts. This, he argued, was how giraffes had evolved long necks in order to reach leaves high up on acacia trees.

Historian of science, Andrew Cunningham, visits the Natural History Museum in Paris to investigate the connections between French and English evolutionary thought.

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Giraffes feeding

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