Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (Born today, September 7, 1707 – April 16, 1788) was a French naturalist, mathematician, biologist, cosmologist and author. Buffon’s views influenced the next two generations of naturalists, including Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin. Darwin himself, in his foreword to the 6th edition of the Origin of Species, credited Aristotle with foreshadowing the concept of natural selection but also stated that “the first author who in modern times has treated it in a scientific spirit was Buffon”. The Lycée Buffon in Paris is named after him.
Read the complete entry in Wikipedia.
– The 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica article.
– The complete Natural History of Birds is available online.
– His biography at Berkeley
– A full biography by Jacques Roger from Amazon