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Hutton the founder of the new geology. In his book Investigation of the Principles of Knowledge he wrote ...if an organised body is not in the situation and circumstances best adapted to its sustenance and propagation then in conceiving an indefinite variety among the individuals of that species we must be assured that on the one hand those which depart most from the best adapted constitution will be the most liable to perish while on the other hand those organized bodies which most approach to the best constitution for the present circumstances will be best adapted to continue in preserving themselves and multiplying the individuals of their race. He did not believe that such selection could lead to new species only that it would perfect existing ones. Nevertheless he stated the theory clearly and described how it would impact populations. In 1794. Why does Darwin get all the credit Because he worked out the details. It is not enough to simply announce a hypothesis. Darwin spent years studying artificial selection how animal breeders create varieties gathering evidence and working out the many problems. Only then did he publish the Origin. It was the scope and depth of Darwins work that convinced the scientific community that evolution had taken place. James Hutton 1794 timeline William Wells 1818 Patrick Matthew 1831 Darwin Wallace 1858 1800 1825 1850 1875 31