Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, was one of the first scientists in the 1700s to suggest that species could evolve and change depending on a number of factors. The scientist was also one of the earliest to suggest that the Earth was much older than the 6,000 years that some people suspected it to be.
Leclerc stated that he felt there were a number of influences that could cause a species to change. These included the species environment and changes to location among several that were put forward. He was also a supporter of the classification system for the various species, though he stated a species was only those that could reproduce successfully.