Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon

    Histoire Naturelle (1753)

    There is, in nature, a general prototype in each species upon which each individual is modeled, but which seems, in realizing itself, to be altered or perfected by circumstances. So that, relative to certain characteristics, there is an unusual variation in the appearance in the succession of individuals, and at the same time a constancy in the species as a whole which appears remarkable. The first animal, the first horse, for example, has been the external model and the internal mold upon which all horses which have ever been born, all those which now exist, and all which will arise, have been formed. But this model, which we know only by its copies, has been able to be altered or perfected in the communication and multiplication of its form. The original impression subsists in its entirety in each individual, but although there might be millions of them, none of these individuals is similar in entirety to any other, nor, by implication, to the impressing model.

    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

    The Phenomenon of Man (1965)

    Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more it is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems much henceforward bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of though must follow this is what evolution is. 

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