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Transformations of Lamarckism – From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Transformations of Lamarckism: From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology

Snait B. Gissis and Eva Jablonka


In 1809—the year of Charles Darwin's birth—Jean-Baptiste Lamarck published Philosophie zoologique, the first comprehensive and systematic theory of biological evolution. The Lamarckian approach emphasizes the generation of developmental variations; Darwinism stresses selection. Lamarck's ideas were eventually eclipsed by Darwinian concepts, especially after the emergence of the Modern Synthesis in the twentieth century. The different approaches—which can be seen as complementary rather than mutually exclusive—have important implications for the kinds of questions biologists ask and for the typ ... More

Keywords: Charles Darwin, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Philosophie zoologique, biological evolution, developmental variations, Darwinism, Modern Synthesis, Lamarckism, biological processes, subtle fluids

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780262015141
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015141.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Snait B. Gissis, editor

Eva Jablonka, editor

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Introductory Essays

16 Lamarck’s Dangerous Idea

Stuart A. Newman, and Ramray Bhat

20 Epigenetic Variability in a Predator-Prey System

Sivan Pearl, Amos Oppenheim, and Nathalie Q. Balaban

23 Maternal and Transgenerational Influences on Human Health

Peter D. Gluckman, Mark A. Hanson, and Tatjana Buklijas

30 Our Plastic Nature

Paul Griffiths

34 Introduction: Ramifications and Future Directions

Snait B. Gissis, and Eva Jablonka

41 Final Discussion

Snait B. Gissis, and Eva Jablonka