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- 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 esp., in the case of animals, by effort, or by use or disuse of certain organs.

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  • Lamarckism

    Lamarckism (or Lamarckian inheritance) is the hypothesis that an organism can pass on characteristics that it has acquired through use or disuse during its lifetime to its offspring. It is also known as the inheritance of acquired characteristics or soft inheritance. It is inaccurately named after the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829), who incorporated the action of soft inheritance into his evolutionary theories as a supplement to his concept of orthogenesis, a drive towards complexity. The theory is cited in textbooks to contrast with Darwinism. This paints a false picture of the history of biology, as Lamarck did not originate the idea of soft inheritance, which was known from the classical era onwards, and it was not the primary focus of Lamarck's theory of evolution. Further, in On the Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin supported the idea of "use and disuse inheritance", though rejecting other aspects of Lamarck's theory; and his pangenesis theory implied soft inheritance.

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    Marginella lamarcki is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Marginellidae, the margin snails.

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