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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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Jean-Baptiste Lamarck: From Myth to History

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck: From Myth to History

(p.9) 2 Jean-Baptiste Lamarck: From Myth to History
Transformations of Lamarckism

Pietro Corsi

The MIT Press

This chapter provides an overview of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's life and his works, including his theories and contributions to evolutionary thought. Lamarck' s theories were expounded in his central writings, especially in the Philosophie zoologique and in Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertèbres. Lamarck considered himself as one of the many naturalists who believed that the development of an organ during the lifetime of an organism, or the appearance of behavioral characteristics could be passed to an offspring if mating occurred between individuals that had experienced the same change. Overall, this chapter draws a historical portrait of Lamarck, dispelling the myths surrounding his life and career.

Keywords:   Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, evolutionary thought, nature, life, Earth, inheritance, acquired characteristics

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