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AP Bio Free Response

By sunainak Sep 23, 2013 258 Words
Free Response #2
Both Lamarckism and Darwinism were theories of evolution rooted in the concept of adaptation and an organisms response to environmental changes, however they differed in the mechanisms of how it happens. Lamarckism is in support of a theory that organisms evolve by acquiring favorable characteristics in response to their environment and directly pass them onto their offspring. In addition, according to Lamarckism, genetic variation occurs in a favorable direction, meaning that evolution is progressive from generation to generation. For example, Lamarckism evolution would argue that if a species lived in an environment that favored hairy coats, animals would perceive this need, grow the coats, and pass it on to their ancestors. Darwinism, in contrast, calls for a two-step process. While Lamarck believed that an organism adapts by perceiving the environmental change, Darwin argues that random, undirected genetic variation occurs among a species and then natural selection acts upon the population by allowing organisms with more adaptive variants to have more reproductive success. Between the competing theories, Darwinism proved superior because Lamarckism was continuously refuted by new pieces of evidence, while Darwinism became m ore strongly supported. For example, the nature of Lamarckism would mean that evolution was a relatively fast process with each generation becoming better and better, whereas evidence proves that evolution is a very slow process. In addition, other evidence shows that genetic variation isn’t always favorable, which further disproved Lamarckism. Although during the time, Lamarckism was more widely accepted, Darwinism ultimately prevailed and provides the basis of our modern understanding of evolution.

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