Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A theory of biological evolution holding that physical changes that occur in an organism through purposeful use and disuse of body parts are inherited by its offspring.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The doctrine that the generation of an organism from an egg is epigenesis or new formation.
  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a theory of organic evolution claiming that acquired characteristics are transmitted to offspring

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[After Chevalier de Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet Lamarck.]

Examples

  • As in Lamarckism, used organs develop and unused ones atrophy.

    A Materialist Red Herring

  • Now we know that acquired gene changes can be and are heritable, Lamarckism is starting not to look so silly anymore.

    Assessing Causality

  • Joy (1): Now we know that acquired gene changes can be and are heritable, Lamarckism is starting not to look so silly anymore.

    Assessing Causality

  • Now we know that acquired gene changes can be and are heritable, Lamarckism is starting not to look so silly anymore.

    Assessing Causality

  • 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

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • That's called Lamarckism and it's very painful to hear from a Minister of Science and Technology.

    Progressive Bloggers

  • 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.

    Can you hear me NOW? - The Panda's Thumb

  • Also, Darwinism may be used to contrast it with other, discredited mechanisms of evolution that were historically thought possible, such as Lamarckism or mutationism.

    Creationist Credibility - The Panda's Thumb

  • Other mechanisms are either false (such as Lamarckism, the inheritance of acquired characteristics) or inadequate (such as saltationism, change by sudden jumps).

    Michael Ruse: Darwinism And The Problem Of Evil

  • Other mechanisms are either false (such as Lamarckism, the inheritance of acquired characteristics) or inadequate (such as saltationism, change by sudden jumps).

    Michael Ruse: Darwinism And The Problem Of Evil

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