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How did Lamarkian Evolution work?

  1. Dec 13, 2003 #1
    Before Darwin's theory, the common view was (AFAIK) Lamarkian evolution. This theory required (again, AFAIK) that changes in the individual being were passed on to its offspring, and thus the great variety of species that exist today. Now this was proven wrong, by the Darwinians. However, what I don't get is how the Lamarkians ever explained the passing of individual changes to offspring, in the first place.

    Does anyone have a link or something, that explains the Lamarkian reasoning?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2003 #2
    At first, no one - including Darwin - had any idea as to how heredetary traits were passed onto the next generation. When Mendel condcuted his research, he too could only regard the mechanism as a black box.

    In 1903, chromosomes where shown to be heredetary units, and not until 1944 was DNA identified as the genetic material (Avery, McLeod and McCarty).

    Basically, Both Darwin and Lamarck had to confine themselves to speculation; thats part of the reason why both theories co-existed for decades.
  4. Dec 13, 2003 #3
    Thanks, Adrian. That makes sense. I hadn't realized that they co-existed before.
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