Try to imagine the world before the concepts of natural selection were accepted as a possibility.
It is hard because even if you don't accept its concepts as a possible truth, you see it everywhere.
Its reach has extended to nearly every corner of this world. From science to entertainment.
Movies have borrowed its concepts, culture has used it to fuel many debates.
It is so intertwined with our everyday lives it feels like it was never NOT around.
but there was a time in the not too distant past when its concepts were just a bunch of random papers written by random people floating around the world without any interlinking connection comprehensible to the human mind......Until someone asked a question.
Now this is all my speculation (which I think is the most effective tool we have as self-conscious entities in our endeavors for improvement) but Natural Selection could have been born from the simple question of "why do domestic animals have characteristics so drastically different (monstrosities) from their wild counterparts?"
Lets not stumble over particulars here. The actual question is not key here, only the Act of questioning.
And here is why:
Asking a question and the interconnecting brainpower that ensues afterwards in pursuit of the answer can effect amazing things.
Question - why do domestic animals have characteristics so drastically different from their wild counterparts?
Answer - The hand of man selected characteristics that benefited him in his environment, and bred further animals in that direction.
Intermediary Inter-connective realization(which leads to the next question) - Man selection of the animal kingdom has been going on since the most primitive of men existed and it has always been based only on the immediate benefit of man in his current economical situation, so it doesn't seem plausible that Man knew then anymore than they do now that from their methodical trails of selecting characteristics based on purely superficial results that our current domestic animal monstrosities would result from their much more simple "truer form" ancestors.
Question - If man had no forsight, no way of knowing how their selected animals would eventually end up looking, Why did the animals end up looking that way?
Answer - there might be something going on inside each animal, beyond the visual eye and comprehensible brain of man, that facilitated and built upon each selection man made of them.
Question - If man was the executive deciding force behind what gets selected and deselected during the eventual physical mutation of wild animal to domestic, What is the force behind the change that is happening on the level man was not aware of?
Answer - Well if it isn't man, or the animals themselves, all that is left is nature.
Another IIR - By taking what I know about the Law of Correlation which I learned from another paper and combining it with this new concept of Chaos Theory that seems to be gaining popularity, I think there might be an underlying connection with what we already know about the criteria used my Man when he selects the best breed from his stock and how Nature might select the best breed from the species. Differences being Nature has a purpose unique from Man, and also has a different environment wherein to make judgements of what to select.
The point of the above series of questions was not to present a viable hypothesis about how natural selection came about. It was to illustrate that by the simple process of asking a question, thinking and studying about it, our brains can take all the data we know and come out with a logical answer. Whether that answer stands the scrutiny of everyone who hears it is another topic all together. I am stating that the spark to an answer's flame that could potentially burn a new path into history is simply.....questioning.