History of genetics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "'Animals engage in a struggle for existence; for resources, to avoid being eaten and to breed. Environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their successful characteristics to offspring.'"
I have found that conventional wisdoms in the West on who did what first often is contradicted in Wikipedia of notes that introduce Arab, Hindu or Chinese discoveries that predate them.
The above citation is what can be read in the Book of Animals by the Afro-Arab writer Al-Jahiz from the 9th century of the common era. This would be the first published evidence for the struggle for existence and predates Darwin's book On the Origin of Species from 1859.
What is important then seems to be the context in which an idea is fostered. Breeding of animals is for example clearly described in the Bible, which would predate Al-Jahiz, but did not have a scientific context to develop in.