American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A theory of biological evolution holding that species evolve by the inheritance of traits acquired or modified through the use or disuse of body parts.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In biology, the general body of doctrine propounded by the French naturalist J. B. P. A. de Monet de Lamarck (1744–1829); the theory of evolution as maintained by him at the beginning of the nineteenth century, to the effect that all plants and animals are descended from a common primitive form of life. In its fundamental principles and essential features, Lamarckism differs from Darwinism in assuming that changes resulted from appetency and the active exertion of the organism. See
- n. The doctrine that the generation of an organism from an egg is epigenesis or new formation.
- n. The theory that structural variations, characteristic of species and genera, are produced in animals and plants by the direct influence of physical environments, and especially, in the case of animals, by effort, or by use or disuse of certain organs.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Biol.) The theory that structural variations, characteristic of species and genera, are produced in animals and plants by the direct influence of physical environments, and esp., in the case of animals, by effort, or by use or disuse of certain organs. It is a discredited theory, not believed by modern biologists.
- n. a theory of organic evolution claiming that acquired characteristics are transmitted to offspring
- After Chevalier de Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet Lamarck. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“As in Lamarckism, used organs develop and unused ones atrophy.”
“Joy (1): Now we know that acquired gene changes can be and are heritable, Lamarckism is starting not to look so silly anymore.”
“Now we know that acquired gene changes can be and are heritable, Lamarckism is starting not to look so silly anymore.”
“However, the word Lamarckism means above all the impelling forces, postulated by Lamarck, of phylogeny: the use or disuse of the organs, occasioned by need, consequently by”
“That's called Lamarckism and it's very painful to hear from a Minister of Science and Technology.”
“Of course, this is preposterous: we already know of many naturalistic theories of evolution which are potential alternatives to Darwinian evolution, and which do not require “intelligent causes”, such as Lamarckism and various forms of structuralism and self-organization theories, for example.”
“Also, Darwinism may be used to contrast it with other, discredited mechanisms of evolution that were historically thought possible, such as Lamarckism or mutationism.”
“Other mechanisms are either false (such as Lamarckism, the inheritance of acquired characteristics) or inadequate (such as saltationism, change by sudden jumps).”
“Running through the various evolutionary options -- Lamarckism (the inheritance of acquired characteristics), saltationism (evolution by massive jumps), and others -- Dawkins points out that either they are false (Lamarckism) or they fail to account for adaptive complexity (saltationism).”
“Dawkins argues that there are at present only three possible ways of seeing the world: Darwinism, Lamarckism, or God.”
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