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The debate over foundationalism was reinvigorated in the early part of the twentieth century by the debate over the nature of the scientific method.  Otto Neurath (1959; original 1932) argued for a view of scientific knowledge illuminated by the raft metaphor according to which there is no privileged set of statements that serve as the ultimate foundation of knowledge; rather, knowledge arises out of a coherence among the set of statements we accept.  In opposition to this raft metaphor, Moritz Schlick (1959; original 1932) argued for a view of scientific knowledge akin to the pyramid image in which knowledge rests on a special class of statements whose verification doesn’t depend on other beliefs.

Evolution is generally associated with Charles Darwin (1809–1882), but by the time he wrote about it in 1858, it had already been suggested by many people. In fact, Charles Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802), was one of many who suggested that living species had descended from different species that had lived in the past. His theory of how evolution occurred was similar to that of French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829) and was based on the belief that characteristics that develop in an adult can be passed on to its offspring. Thus, for example, giraffes could have evolved because their short-necked ancestors stretched their necks to reach higher leaves and therefore had offspring with longer necks. Both Lamarck and Erasmus Darwin were ignored, scorned, and ridiculed for this idea.



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