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March 20, 2016 | Author: admin image 2

Various evolutionary ideas existed before Darwin's time, as shown in the folklore and religious beliefs of certain Oriental peoples, including the Babylonians and Egyptians. However, these ideas were more mythological than scientific. They were later adopted and expanded upon by ancient Greek scholars.

Anixamander of Miletus (c. 610 – c. 546 BC) wrote that human being developed over time from fish to human. Many of his books is lost and only survived in fragments. However this ideas influenced people in later generations.

Xenophanes of Colophon was the first scholar to examine fossils. Then he came up with a theory explaining the origin of nature and life.

Aristotle wrote: "Nature gradually, step by step, develops from inanimate substances to living creatures."

Muslim scholars such as Abu Reihan Biruni (972-1048), Ibn Bajja (1070-1138) and Ibn Tufail (1110-1185) later tried to develop the ancient Greek evolutionary views.

Nasiraddin Tusi (also known as Nasir ad-Din Tusi) was born in 1201 in Iran. As a scientist and all-around genius, he is known for many things: founding an observatory in Maragha (the ancient cultural center situated in Maragha which is east of Tabriz in present-day Iranian Azerbaijan ), interpreting and developing the mathematics of Euclid, predicting the existence of land west of the Atlantic Ocean as well as writing more than 80 influential books in Arabic and Persian about astronomy, geometry, geography, physics, law, history, medicine, philosophy, logic and ethics. Today he is highly revered and honored in Azerbaijan, and several education institutions are named after him, including the Tusi Pedagogical Institute in Baku. What few people know, however, is that Tusi also developed a basic theory of evolution - more than 600 years before Charles Darwin.

This theory appears in Tusi's popular work "Akhlagi-Nasiri" (Nasirean Ethics), a treatise on ethics in the Greek tradition built upon the 11th century "Tahdhib al-Akhlag of Ibn Miskawayh", which Tusi drafted in prison while being held by the Assassins, a religious terrorist group. He later revised it for his Mongol master (the Mongolian occupation led to his release from prison). "Nasirean Ethics" was translated into English by G.M. Wickens and published by George Allen & Unwin in 1964.

"Akhlagi-Nasiri" is about the perfection of humans. Tusi divides this perfection into two parts - material and spiritual perfection. He uses the term "takamul", which means "perfection" in Arabic. In modern Azeri, this same term now means "evolution". Read more in Tusi views on evolution