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Transformations of LamarckismFrom Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology$
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Snait B. Gissis and Eva Jablonka

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015141

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015141.001.0001

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Why Did the Modern Synthesis Give Short Shrift to “Soft Inheritance”?

Why Did the Modern Synthesis Give Short Shrift to “Soft Inheritance”?

(p.127) 13 Why Did the Modern Synthesis Give Short Shrift to “Soft Inheritance”?
Transformations of Lamarckism

Adam Wilkins

The MIT Press

This chapter presents three important reasons why evolutionary biologists dismissed Lamarckism or soft inheritance from the Modern Synthesis. The first is the legacy of adhering to August Weismann's ideas of the separation of germ line and soma. The second is the absence, from the 1920s through the 1940s, of convincing for strong evidence for the inheritance of acquired characteristics. The third reason came from the assumptions of population and quantitative genetics, which were developing at the time.

Keywords:   Lamarckism, soft inheritance, Modern Synthesis, August Weismann, germ line, soma, acquired characteristics, population, quantitative genetics

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