February 27, 2011 5:35 pm erent thomas burnet suggested that the condition of the earth could best be explained by reference to ordinary, slow-acting, non-catastrophic natural processes or erosion by ice, wind and water. Robert hook made a conclusion (based on fossils) that animals became extinct due to changes in the environment, but just like burnet he believed that earth was young. In 1749, george buffon published the theory of uni- formitarianism. In 1788, james hutton suggested that earth is at least hundred of thousands of years old. Carles lyell said the present is key to the past . In 1758, carolus linnaeus developed system of classification - a taxonomy. Jean-baptiste lamarck rec- ognized that organisms and the environment have a relationship - plants and animals are adaptive to their environment. However, he assumed that as animals evolve, they become more perfect and complex. He also proposed the idea of inheritance of acquired characteristics.