Darwin And Lamarck's Theory Of Evolution

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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

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