George it Louis Leclerc de Buffon

Portrait of François Hubert Drouais (1727-1775).

Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon (* 7. September 1707 in Montbard with Dijon; † 16. April 1788 in Paris) was a French natural scientist.

As a son the onewealthy court advice at the Parlement of Dijon born Buffon studied first jurisprudence and medicine. On an education journey by France and Italy (over 1728) he received first suggestions to nature-historical research, whereupon he itself the study of mathematics, physics and Botanik in London dedicated. There it was affected by writings by Isaac Newton, which it translated to its return to France into the French. As a private scholar in Paris (approximately starting from 1730) Buffon concerned itself first with priority with physics and probability calculation (Buffon needle problem), turned to natural history then however completely. 1739 he was appointed from king Louis XV the director of the royal Botani garden ( today Jardin plan width unit) in Paris and raised later into the count conditions.

After itowing to its intelligent and well written papers 1733 member of the Academie of the sciences had already become, selected it 1753 also the Académie française, where he itself with its inaugural speech, the Discours you style, when man of letters formed.

Its Hauptwerkmuch-restrain “natural history” (Histoire natureal générale et particulière) which he wrote in co-operation with Louis Jean Marie Daubenton (* 1716 to † 1799). Their altogether 44 volumes published starting from 1749, provided large scientific acknowledgment and popularity for it inits homeland and into many languages were translated.

Scientific working Buffons is based on the methods of observation and experiment. He tried, the emergence of the organisms by Urzeugung from smallest particles and its development as consequence of climatic changes tooexplain, and opposed Carl von Linnés the idea of a evolutiven ladder to the hierarchical system. Its theory supported Buffon by compare-anatomical studies. Thus he explained useless parts of the body by recovery formerly useful parts of an ancestor. Buffon held the opinion thatall members of a family of kinds of the same ancestor descend, from whom outgoing some perfects itself, others however regressed. Buffon saw for example in an ape incomplete or backformed humans.

Buffons ladder idea had a very large influencethe natural science of his time and affected to in 19. Century inside. Of great importance one is with the fact also that Buffon for the gradual development of the organisms accepted long periods. It divided the development of the earth in seven epochs. Outgoingfrom the thesis that the earth had resulted from collision of a comet with the sun and the first life developed in the sea, it accepted Buffon as age of the earth 75,000 years. Thereby he dared it if also notfirst to exceed the border calculated of the theologians due to Biblical data from 6000 years to. Buffon tried to escape the resistance caused by its theses by alteration of particularly disputed opinions.

He described its theories as well as its methodology of the natural sciencein detail in the first three volumes of its Histoire natureal. Descriptions of the individual animal and plant types form the main part of the work. Here for the first time also the skeleton anatomy of the animals was represented, what created the bases of comparative anatomy.

During in the German-language, Entered Buffon find area scientist also as writing acknowledgment rare French literature history. His Discours you style and excerpts from the Histoire natureal were to be found long time in the readers for High Schools.


  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)