What is Lamarck's Theory?

What Does Lamarck theory Mean

We explain what Lamarck's theory is about the evolution of living beings, their mistakes and successes. Also, who was Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.

Lamarck was the first to propose that today's species come from others.

What is Lamarck's Theory?

Lamarckism or Lamarck Theory is called the scientific theory on the evolution of species , proposed by the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in his book Zoological Philosophy of 1809. This is the first evolutionary theory in history , the fundamental predecessor of which then proposed by Charles Darwin in 1859.

In his work, Lamarck noted that the species of living beings were not immutable , nor did they seem to have been created spontaneously, as was claimed at the time, but that they had probably evolved "by trial and error" from much more life forms. simple.

To explain this transformation, he proposed the existence of a mechanism (which biology today considers impossible), and which assumed the ability of living beings to transfer the characteristics acquired by adapting to new environments to their heirs .

Let us remember that at that time the existence and functioning of genes was not known as today . The principle of Weismann's Barrier was also unknown, which establishes that genetic information goes from genes to cells and not the other way around, that is, living beings cannot edit their genetic code at will .

And as a result of this last principle, Lamarckism was considered wrong and was discarded at the beginning of the 20th century . Later, however, it was recovered and reevaluated by new scientific currents that aspire to demonstrate that its principles were correct.

Lamarck's Theory became known as "Transformism . " It relied mainly on the verifiable existence of extinct species in the geological stratum, whose structural similarities with contemporary life forms were notorious.

See also: Darwin's theory

Importance of Lamarck's Theory

Lamarck relied on fossil evidence that ancient species resemble modern ones.

Lamarck's theories emerged in an extremely hostile context , when evolutionary precepts were just emerging as a consequence of the application of the scientific method . In that sense, they were even more revolutionary than those of Darwin himself , who drew on the works of Erasmus and Lamarck himself.

In fact, in Lamarck's day the natural sciences were content with the description of living things . The emergence of his Zoological Philosophy marked a turning point that resulted in the emergence of modern biology .

Biography of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck lived in France between 1744 and 1829.

Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet Chevalier de Lamarck was born in Bazentin, France, on August 1, 1744 , into a noble family of military descent. He had a Jesuit education and began in the military arts, participating in the Battle of Villinghausen (1761) in the Seven Years' War.

However, his true vocation was science , so he trained in medicine, a discipline that he never practiced. In addition, it was part of the Jardin des plantes until 1793, when it became a Museum of Natural History on his own idea.

Since then he was a professor and published various studies on flora, fauna , meteorology , hydrology . His magnum opus, Zoological Philosophy , was published in 1809 .

Unfortunately Lamarck was blind in 1819, so his last works were written through the dictation of his daughters. The last part of his life was lived in ignorance and disgrace, until his death in 1829 .

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