Lamarcks Influence Upon Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Lamarcks Influence Upon Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Length: 1942 words (5.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

There have been many ideas on the theory of evolution. Some simply take our
existence for granted, others prefer to explain all evolution in terms of the
bible and the presence of a God. However, there are those who have researched
the topic of evolution and have offered an explanation as to where a species
comes from and how they evolved in the manner that they did. This type of
science has been studied for a very long time, and one of the most famous
minds in the field of evolution was a man named Charles Darwin. Darwin was not
the first one to offer theories on evolution. There have been many scientists
who preceded him. These earlier evolutionists came up with models of evolution
that were unfortunately unworkable. One of these early pioneers was Jean-
Baptiste Lamarck. Lamarck believed in deism and advocated natural religion based
on human reason. He believed in the harmony and rationality of the world. And
although flawed, the work of Lamarck did not go unnoticed, however. Darwin also
believed in the harmony of the world, and it was Darwin himself who said that
Lamarck was the first man whose conclusions on evolution brought about
excitement and attention. He was the one who showed law in organic and inorganic
species evolution. As it turned out, the work of Lamarck was quite influential
on Darwin. Lamarck's views on inheritance of characteristics can be seen in
Darwin's accounts of natural selection. When Lamarck wrote of transmutation,
Darwin followed with his beliefs of the mutability of species. As well, Darwin
had used Lamarck's ideas on use and disuse of organs. Lamarck was not the
greatest of influences on Darwin, but he was an important one.

One of the most important arguments in Darwin's theories was the idea of natural
selection. It is generally thought that the world first heard of this idea in
the form of Lamarck's inheritance of acquired traits theory. Lamarck's work
showed that organisms improve themselves on their own. Then these new advantages
for the environment would be passed on to the species offspring on the genetic
level. This idea of self improvement detailed how, through hard work of the
organism, the path of evolution was continuous, always improving to the point of
perfection. Lamarck had said that organisms must first be faced with a different
mode of environment that would trigger some sort ...

... middle of paper ...

...use and disuse of internal structures
can be seen in the preliminary ground work of Darwin's theory of natural
selection, mutation of species and use and disuse of an organisms body parts.
Darwin had revolutionized the belief in evolution, and in doing so, he had
brought back some theories that were not all that popular when they were first
introduced. Great minds like Lamarck had influenced Darwin to show the world
where it originated, and how it progressed through the ages.


1. Corsi, P., "The age of Lamarck", University of California Press LTD,
Berkeley and California, 1988

2. Gould, S.J., "The Panda's Thumb", W.W. Norton and Company Inc. New York,

3. Gould, S.J., "The Flamingo's Smile", W.W. Norton and Company Inc. New York,

4. Mayr, E., "One Long Argument:Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern
Evolutionary Thought", Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts,

5. Ospovat, D., "The Development of Darwin's Theory", Cambridge University
Press, New York, 1981

6. "Index of the Origin of Species" Internet, http//

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Charles Darwin 's Theory Of Natural Selection

- Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection is viewed by many as one of the most significant and influential ideas ever conceived. However it took Darwin 20 years to publish his book ‘the origin of species’, one of the primary reasons for this was that he feared the implications his theory would have on the world. Although the theory of evolution greatly enhanced and progressed science as well as deepen human understanding of nature, it came at a cost. The theory led to the development of Social Darwinism, which further created a variety of different sociological and political ideologies....   [tags: Natural selection, Charles Darwin, Evolution]

Powerful Essays
1460 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Charles Darwin 's Theory Of Natural Selection

- For centuries on end, the utmost importance and appraisal was given to God. God was the driving force of various civilizations; he was the reason behind every animal that was caught for food, every dollar that was made, and every large-scale phenomenon that occurred. Charles Darwin was one of the first men to challenge this global spirit in the 1860s through his theory of natural selection, one of many theories delineated in his book, On the Origin of Species. Natural selection was described by Darwin as: “any variation, however slight and from whatever cause proceeding if it be in any degree profitable to an individual of any species, in its infinitely complex relations to other organic bei...   [tags: Natural selection, Charles Darwin]

Powerful Essays
1352 words (3.9 pages)

Charles Darwin 's Theory Of Natural Selection Essay

- Throughout history, England has had countless numbers of important writers, philosophers, and scientists. However, there was one rarity, that fit all three categories; Francis Bacon. Bacon was widely known for his essay on the four idols. Douglas Walton wrote an article about Bacon’s biography leading up to his theory of the four idols. “In addition to having his career in law and politics, Bacon made notable contributions to science, philosophy, history and literature” (Walton). The four idols were very influential in Europe at the time, and continue to be very important when studying literature and philosophy....   [tags: Natural selection, Charles Darwin]

Powerful Essays
1108 words (3.2 pages)

Charles Darwin 's Theory On Natural Selection And Evolution Essay

- The man in history for his theory on natural selection and evolution, Charles Darwin, was born on February 12, 1809 (Johnson 17). His father ensured that he received the finest education available, which shaped him into the man and leader he turned out to be (Johnson 20). His adult years were centralized around intellectual matters that lead him to becoming a great and established thinker in the scientific world. Charles Darwin was an effective leader because of his intellectual influence and scientific relationships, his strategically written and published theory in Origin of Species, and the receptiveness of the Victorians....   [tags: Charles Darwin, Natural selection, Evolution]

Powerful Essays
1017 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Charles Darwin 's Theory Of Evolution And Natural Selection

- The ideas that Charles Darwin presented in his Origin of Species went against basically all the accepted views at the time. He proposed theories such as evolution and natural selection. This strongly went against the ideas at the time, which were centered on the church, and God being responsible for all life and everything that was here on earth. Charles Darwin’s theories were first started on his expedition on the Beagle, where he observed many different species, and in particular the finches he saw on his journey....   [tags: Evolution, Charles Darwin, Natural selection]

Powerful Essays
1391 words (4 pages)

Charles Darwin 's Theory Of Natural Selection Essay example

- Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection has pointed out that all species have changed over time. It processed different identifications of natural selection which later in time brought newer developments of variations in species (Lewis, et al., 2013). As a result, individuals have been reproducing. Species continue to evolve over generations. The world in which individuals live in has progressed and has become more modern and therefore has strayed away from the boundaries of natural selection....   [tags: Charles Darwin, Natural selection, Evolution]

Powerful Essays
759 words (2.2 pages)

Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection Essay

- Whether it is Lamarck's theory that evolution is driven by an innate tendency towards greater complexity, Darwin's theory of natural selection, or the belief that the evolution of plant and animal life is controlled by a higher being, the process of evolution cannot be denied. Archaeological investigations have proven that species evolve over time, but the unanswered questions are " How?" and "Why?" The answer lies in Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England on February 12, 1809....   [tags: Natural Selection, Evolution Essays]

Free Essays
663 words (1.9 pages)

Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection Essay

- If you look at the people around you, are they all the same. What would happen if we lived in a world where all the food was kept 8 feet off the ground and there was absolutely no way you could get it if you weren’t tall enough. Most likely, the short people would die off. The taller ones would multiply, and before long, instead of a population of people of all sizes, you would have a population of only tall people. Living things that are best-suited, or adapted, to their environment survive and multiply....   [tags: Natural Selection Essays]

Free Essays
601 words (1.7 pages)

Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection Essay

- Darwin is considered by other people as the creator of Evolution. Darwin was not the only man to arrive at the theory of evolution. Darwin came to his theory of evolution at the same time as an another man who goes by the name of Alfred Russell Wallace came to the same conclusion. Wallace being relatively unknown was not respected for having the same conclusion because the fact that people were so apt to listen to the theory’s of Charles Darwin. After time Darwin published a book On the Origin of Species, and it was a big success: it’s first printing sold out immediately and a second printing sold out a month later....   [tags: Natural Selection, Evolution Essays]

Powerful Essays
1026 words (2.9 pages)

Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection Essay examples

- Darwin collected and described thousands of animals and plants. In South America he observed the adaptations of organisms to a variety of habitat from jungle to grassland to mountain habitats. In the temperate regions the species resembled more closely the species of the tropical regions of South America rather than the corresponding species of the temperate regions of Europe. For example, in the grasslands of Argentina there are no rabbits, however, there are rodents that resemble rabbits; these rodents are unrelated to European rabbits but are similar to other rodents in South America....   [tags: Natural Selection, Evolution Essays]

Powerful Essays
1664 words (4.8 pages)