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LamarckismLamarckisme (fr.); Lamarckismus (ger.)

  • A doctrine according to which properties that organisms acquire during their individual lifetime are being passed on to their progeny (“inheritance of acquired characteristics”). (HWB 2011)  
    Lamarckism looks very well on paper, but, as Prof. Semper’s book shows, when put to the test of observation and experiment it collapses absolutely.
    Lankester, E.R. (1884). Athenæum Nr. 2944: 412.

    Lamarckism Inheritance of acquired characters; the theory that changes in use and disuse of an organ result in changes in size and functional capacity and that these modified characters acquired by organisms in response to environmental factors are transmitted to the offspring; theory of use and disuse.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 138.


    Der Lamarckismus ist die Lehre, nach der die Eigenschaften, die ein Organismus im Laufe seines Lebens erworben hat, an seine Nachkommen vererbt werden können (»Vererbung erworbener Eigenschaften«).

    Toepfer, G. (2011). Historisches Wörterbuch der Biologie. Geschichte und Theorie der biologischen Grundbegriffe, vol. 2: 409.

Zimmermann, W. (1938). Vererbung »erworbener Eigenschaften« und Auslese.

Zirkle, C. (1946). The early history of the idea of inheritance of acquired characters and of pangenesis. Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc. 35, 91-151.

Gillespie, C.C. (1956). The formation of Lamarck’s evolutionary theory. Arch. Int. Hist. Sci. 9, 323-338.

Mayr, E. (1972). Lamarck revisited. J. Hist. Biol. 5, 55-94.

Burkhardt, R.W. Jr. (1972). The inspiration of Lamarck’s belief in evolution. J. Hist. Biol. 5, 413-438.

Burkhardt, R.W. Jr. (1977). The Spirit of System. Lamarck and Evolutionary Biology.

Blacher, L. (1982). The Problem of the Inheritance of Acquired Characters. A History of A Priori and Empirical Methods Used to Find a Solution.

Bowler, P.J. (1992). Lamarckism. In: Keller, E.F. & Lloyd, E.A. (eds.). Keywords in Evolutionary Biology, 188-193.

Jablonka, E. & Lamb, M.J. (1995). Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution.