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Lamarck's Influence on the Development of Darwin's Theory of Evolution

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Lamarck's Influence on the Development of Darwin's Theory of Evolution

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Lamarck's Influence on the Development of Darwin's Theory of Evolution

Dec. 4 1996
Marc Weinstein

There have been many ideas on the theory of evolution. Some simply take our existence for granted, others prefer to explain all evolution in terms of the bible and the presence of a God. However, there are those who have researched the topic of evolution and have offered an explanation as to where a species comes from and how they evolved in the manner that they did. This type of science has been studied for a very, very long time, and one of the most famous minds in the field of evolution was a man named Charles Darwin. Darwin was not the first one to offer theories on evolution. There have been many scientists who preceded him. These earlier evolutionists came up with models of evolution that were unfortunately unworkable. One of these early pioneers was Jean- Baptiste Lamarck. Lamarck believed in deism and advocated natural religion based on human reason. He believed in the harmony and rationality of the world. And although flawed, the work of Lamarck did not go unnoticed, however. Darwin also believed in the harmony of the world, and it was Darwin himself who said that Lamarck was the first man whose conclusions on evolution brought about excitement and attention. He was the one who showed law in organic and inorganic species evolution. As it turned out, the work of Lamarck was quite influential on Darwin. Lamarck's views on inheritance of characteristics can be seen in Darwin's accounts of natural selection. When Lamarck wrote of transmutation, Darwin followed with his beliefs of the mutability of species. As well, Darwin had used Lamarck's ideas on use and disuse of organs. Lamarck was not the greatest of influences on Darwin, but he was an important one.

One of the most important arguments in Darwin's theories was the idea of natural selection. It is generally thought that the world first heard of this idea in the form of Lamarck's inheritance of...

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