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Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

Died 18 Dec 1829 at age 85 (born 1 Aug 1744). Pioneer French biologist and pre-Darwinian evolutionist who proposed that acquired traits are inheritable (Lamarckism), which was replaced by Darwinian theory. After time as an army officer, and as a worker in a bank, Lamarck became interested in medicine and botany. He wrote Flore française (French Flora, 1773), became keeper of the royal garden (1774), and professor of invertebrate zoology at the Museum of Natural History, Paris (1793). His scientific theories on heredity published in Philosophie zoologique (1809), were largely ignored or attacked at the time. His speculative theory was that acquired traits are inheritable (such as giraffes who, he said, through stretching to reach tall trees, make their necks longer, and then pass on longer necks to their offspring.) The Lamarck system of classification for invertebrate animals was published in his Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertebres (7 vols, 1815-22). Lamarck's speculations about the physical and natural world found little favour among his contemporaries and he died blind and in poverty. Darwin, however, writing in 1861 recognized his efforts for initiating interest in the idea of evolution.

Why was the orange s...

“Why was the orange sad? He had peelings for the apple.”

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