Based on what little I know, the philosophical idea of evolution can be traced back through Darwin to Erasmus Darwin (grandfather) all the way back to Greco-Roman philosophers like Lucretius (atomists). When do you think the idea originated?
Great question! Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can provide much insight into your question. My familiarity with the Theory of Evolution is confined to Darwin’s work. It is true that the idea of biological evolution didn’t originate with Darwin, but he (along with Alfred Russell Wallace) providing a mechanism for biological evolution. This accomplishment is why many people regard Darwin’s work to be seminal.