The theory of Jean Baptiste Lamarck on the evolution of specieswas formulated by the scientist in the very beginning of the XIX century. His views on the improvement of species Lamarck outlined in the work "The philosophy of zoology," which was never recognized by contemporaries. The pros and cons of Lamarck's theory began to be studied much later. However, this was the first integral evolutionary theory, and, of course, it had its advantages and disadvantages. Consider the pros and cons of the Lamarck theory, as well as its main aspects.
Contents of the theory
The essence of Lamarck's theory can be described by the following theses:
- If a certain organ is often used by the body, then it develops.
- If a certain body does not perform useful functions in the environment of the organism, it gradually dies.
- Useful acquired characteristics are inherited by the offspring of the organism.
Consider the pros and cons of Lamarck's theory. The advantages, of course, are:
- Correct scientific substantiation of the fact of the evolution of species. He was the first to say that evolution is a law of nature and all species are subject to certain changes.
- Relationship of the variability of organisms with the impact of external factors.
- The theory advanced by Lamarck that existing complex species evolved from simpler ones was confirmed.
- In his theory of "striving for perfection" Lamarcksuggested that the acquired features of the body are inherited by his offspring. As a result of further research, it was established that the inheritance of acquired characteristics is a much more complex and ambiguous process.
- Lamarck represented evolution as a continuous and evenly flowing process, although it is characterized by jumps and pauses.
- Wrong understanding of the structure of a living organism.A key role in the functioning of matter, Lamarck attributed the influence of external factors. He considered the living organism exclusively as a mechanism working under the influence of environmental factors, which is absolutely not true.
This is the main plus and minus of the Lamarck theory.
The reaction of contemporaries
The theory of Lamarck was not popular with the scientist's contemporaries. Even Charles Darwin considered the views of the scientist pseudoscientific nonsense.
The evolutionary theory of Lamarck, the pros and cons of thistheory, began to be studied in detail only at the beginning of the twentieth century. His theory of the inheritance of acquired characteristics gave rise to controversies in scientific works, and became the starting point for the famous experiments of Weismann connected with heredity.