Lamarck Argument For Evolution Research Paper

683 Words3 Pages
Darwin was not the first naturalist to propose that species changed over time into new species—that life, as we would say now, evolves. In the eighteenth century, Buffon and other naturalists began to introduce the idea that life might not have been fixed since creation. By the end of the 1700s, paleontologists had swelled the fossil collections of Europe, offering a picture of the past at odds with an unchanging natural world. And in 1801, a French naturalist named Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck took a great conceptual step and proposed a full-blown theory of evolution. Lamarck started his scientific career as a botanist, but in 1793 he became one of the founding professors of the Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle…show more content…
The French naturalist Geoffroy St. Hilaire would champion another version of evolutionary change in the 1820s, and the British writer Robert Chambers would author a best-selling argument for evolution in 1844: Vestiges of a Natural Creation. And in 1859, Charles Darwin would publish the Origin of Species. Lamarck, St. Hilaire, Chambers, and Darwin all had radically different ideas about how evolution operates, but only Darwin's still have scientific currency today.Darwin relied on much the same evidence for evolution that Lamarck did (such as vestigial structures and artificial selection through breeding), but made completely different arguments from Lamarck. Darwin did not accept an arrow of complexity driving through the history of life. He argued that complexity evolved simply as a result of life adapting to its local conditions from one generation to the next, much as modern biologists see this process. But of course, Darwin's ideas weren't entirely modern either. For example, he tried on and eventually rejected several different ideas about heredity (including the inheritance of acquired characteristics, as championed by Lamarck) and never came to any satisfying conclusion about how traits were passed from parent to
Open Document