Comparing Darwin And Lamarck's Theories Of Evolution

Improved Essays
As much as we credit Darwin for the theory of evolution, he in fact was not the first naturalist to propose this idea that species somehow change over a period of time into new species with different characteristics. Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck was both a naturalist and a botanist with extreme expertise in invertebrates. Before 1800 Lamarck believed that the idea of evolution was impossible. The developing fossil record and concept behind extinction most likely led him to convert from essentialism to an evolutionist. Before 1800 Lamarck believed that the idea of evolution was impossible. It was after 1800 that he had a “conversion.” These ideas led him to think that species were not unchanging or fixed. He thought …show more content…
The first was that organisms develop characteristics that are useful in a particular environment or lose traits that are not. He called this concept use and disuse, which is referred to as the “First Law”. Evolutionary improvements also happened by inheritance of acquired traits. Lamarck’s “Second Law” stated that adaptations to an environment could be passed on to the next generation to allow the entire population to benefit. This would therefore create new species. Darwin and Lamarck were both scientists interested in the mechanism of evolution. Lamarck’s theory was oriented around how organisms change according to their surroundings during their lifetime and pass these traits onto their offspring. While Darwin’s theory, known as natural selection, believed that each organism has a differential ability to survive and reproduce due to variation in characteristics. This is why the term “survival of the fittest” was coined. These characteristics will then be more likely to appear in the next generation. Darwin proposed that the mechanism of evolution occurred by which the fittest individual one survives. However, Lamarck proposed that through the inheritance of acquired traits is how evolution occurs. Darwinism is currently more widely accepted among the science community than …show more content…
He proposed that after periodic catastrophic floods new species were created or produced. Although also in the pre-Darwinian nineteenth century in England, Robert Chambers, was an evolutionary thinker that published Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation to open up the question of evolution by natural law. Since this publication was so controversial it was not until after his death that he was revealed to be the author. Chambers theory of how evolution occurred was similar to Lamarck’s original theory, although made some belittling remarks of Lamarck. His theory included two main ideas that he perceived from the evidence. His theory stated that the species did evolve in geologic time, but it was gradually over time that was in no way linked to any catastrophic event. Overall, his theory did end up converting some people to

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science”(Charles Darwin, natural selection). Charles Darwin is often seen as a man that questioned his own theory, by those who study the biology field and others that study evolution. When taken out of context the quote brings up some controversy of whether he should be considered “The Father of Evolution”, if he had doubts about his own theories (Natural Science- Charles Darwin). Darwin was not the first to have a theory about how evolution happens, George- Louis Leclerc Comte de Buffon study evolution in the 1700’s but until this day he is one of the most known for it. During his time he wrote a book called “The Origin of Species” and “The Descent of Man”.…

    • 1266 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Scientist use the mosaic concept to prove that molecule ancestors were likely present in different organism at different times. Gene drift is one of the major players in evolution. Gradual change in the genome of population over time, without Natural Selection. Natural Selection works on mutations which impact survival, favoring those which enhance the chances of survival. When DNA sequence appears in the genes, it has the same effect as mutations-nature can select for or against it resulting in evolution.…

    • 1064 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Darwin gathered data and evidence to prove his theory; demonstrating that species could change and new species could develop from older ones. Additionally, he demonstrated that change occurred as a result of natural selection, rather than from God. Darwin’s discovery had a huge impact in the field of science as it was a drastic change from the initial scientific…

    • 876 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin were once friends, contemporaries, and rivals. Both scientists proposed the theory of natural selection, the process where organisms develop traits over time that adapt to their surrounding environments and become more common through reproduction. Darwin published his work On the Origin of Species detailing his theory of natural selection in 1859, while Wallace had discussed with Darwin the theory as well. The theory of natural selection led Darwin and Wallace to develop radically different views of evolution that rivaled each other's theories. Darwin published his theories of evolution, and as a result, they were widely known throughout his time.…

    • 661 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Intelligent Design Theory

    • 1915 Words
    • 8 Pages

    What is intelligent design? How does it differ from other contemporary origin theories? Intelligent design is the relatively young theory of how there may be more to the origin of our, and every, species then just a collection of random chaotic event. Darwin insisted in his theory of natural of natural selection; that individuals, amongst various species, with optimal survival traits would outlast and thrive in contrast to those with less beneficial traits. Lamarck, father of evolution theory, would have believed these traits would have been slowly formed due to necessity and bred down through generations.…

    • 1915 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Paradox of Anthropocentrism In the simplest possible definition, the word evolution is understood as change over time. The notion of evolution, however, more complicated than just the meaning of the word. Conceptually, evolution has dichotomized exceptionally clearly. To the scientific community, evolution is a clear reference to the work and theories completed by Charles Darwin throughout the span of his lifetime, and the modern day knowledge of the process in which organisms develop specific desirable traits in response to altered environments. However, evolution 's third definition draws the line between scientific and non-scientific understandings.…

    • 1201 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Darwin uses sex to change a species and Dawkins traces the genes that are passed down when people have sex. These changes that occur have inevitably changed a species over a long period of time. “Prior to Darwin, scientists imagined each species as an essential type or ideal Platonic form. Darwin showed not only that species change over time but also that they include considerable variation, which we now refer to as polymorphism, something he recognized not as a flaw but as an asset, providing a reservoir of raw material for selection.” (Wreth) It takes time to trace human back to a certain origin. People don’t usually understand that there aren’t very many differences between in our genetic differences with other species.…

    • 1291 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    A prime example of this was the Nazi policy of eugenics executed during the Holocaust. The theory of evolution doesn’t bring answers to moral questions. It is but information that led to large leap in scientific history. Darwin is a historic character in the history of science. His ideas that generated natural selection are the go to for modern evolutionary studies and provides a basis for scientists to better understand biology.…

    • 1314 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    As previously stated, he was influenced by others to start developing the principles of evolution and natural selection. Significantly, it was not until Alfred Russel Wallace shared similar findings with Darwin that he decided to publish his research on his hypothesis of natural selection. In 1855, Wallace published an article that stated that current species may be descendants of other species and that their appearances and variations were caused by environmental factors. Lyell and some others wanted Darwin to publish his work following the article’s release but he did not. It was not until 1858 that upon receiving another paper from Wallace entitled, On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type, that Darwin decided to publish his work.…

    • 1126 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Darwin established one of evolutionary psychology’s most important ideas, which continues to influence how we view our behaviour and mental abilities, as well as those of other animals (Montgomery, 2001). It also allows us to discover how behavioural traits such as phobias and mate retention strategies have evolved, even if they are not adaptive today. The mind is now evolving culturally rather than biologically by imitation of memes. Archer (2001) argues that even the theory of evolution itself evolves and has emerged over the past centuries. Although it is widely accepted, it is un-falsifiable and some previously rejected theories such as Lamarckism could be returning.…

    • 1326 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays