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For the same reason that the Origin of Species and Darwin are credited with discovering evolution even though Origin doesn't get evolution really right. Or Greek democracy - not a true democracy in the modern sense - suffrage was limited for free men.

The key point of the Magna Carta is that it codified the principle of the rule of law, even if it was a limited to aristocrats. The side-effect is that it implied that a different source of value - human reason in the shape of laws - was legitimate, and not the absolute rule of the king.




In what way did On the Origin of Species not "get it right"? It necessarily has holes as Darwin was unaware of DNA or horizontal gene transfer, but he nailed the basic mechanism, and anticipated and addressed many of the criticisms that would be leveled.


Right, Darwin nailed the principle of evolution but Origin is now primarily a (very important) historical document, not the field book of modern evolutionary biologists, for some of the reasons that you give, DNA, punctuated equilibrium, etc.

Likewise with Magna Carta - its an important historical document which laid down the principle.




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