acquired characteristics


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acquired characteristics,

modifications produced in an individual plant or animal as a result of mutilation, disease, use and disuse, or any distinctly environmental influence. Some examples are docking of tails, malformation caused by disease, and muscle atrophy. The belief in the inheritability of acquired characteristics, proposed by the French biologist Jean-Baptiste LamarckLamarck, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, chevalier de
, 1744–1829, French naturalist. He is noted for his study and classification of invertebrates and for his introduction of evolutionary theories.
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 in 1809, was widely accepted at one time, but is now rejected. Geneticists have affirmed that inheritance is determined solely by the reproductive cells and is unaffected by somatic (body) cells.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Even before Lysenko, in the 1920s, the German biologist Paul Kammerer and a slew of less-familiar Russian biologists promoted the idea of acquired characteristics as a sort of Marxist eugenics.
Many scientists believed that "life really was something that acted through the medium of matter but was independent of it." (6) And he had a thoroughly scientific explanation for that vital force: the inheritance of acquired characteristics. This theory, popularly associated with Jean Baptiste Lamarck, explained evolutionary change as a result of the biological passing on of the experience or change of an individual.
21) and what seems to be a sort of Lamarckian view on the author's part on the inheritance of acquired characteristics (p.
The 21 activities cover taxonomy, nature studies, and acquired characteristics. Readers are also instructed in baking Shrewsbury cares from an authentic 1808 recipe, studying Greek and Latin vocabulary, going on a botanical treasure hunt in the grocery store, tying knots, cooking a Chilean dish of beans and tomatoes, keeping a journal, and making fossils.
Acquiring Genomes argues against the orthodox history of science today: Margulis contends that Lamarck, who claimed that organisms inherit acquired characteristics, was right.
It is this that permits the inheritance of acquired characteristics of a certain sort--of learning, through communication from one human being to another.
The language of 'blood' in Beer-Hofmann's Der Tod Georgs is related to the conflict between August Weismann's theory of the unchangeable germplasm and the neo-Lamarckian view that acquired characteristics could be inherited (which implied that racial 'degeneration' could be reversed, Jews assimilated to Gentile society, and human character modified by social reforms).
The discovery bears a spooky parallel to the discredited ideas of 19th-century biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who argued that species inherit acquired characteristics. For example, Agrawal says, "if I'm a bodybuilder, my babies will have big muscles." Lamarck didn't know about genes, but people interpret his idea as implying genetic change.
Like most biologists of his time, he rejected Lamarck's theory of the inheritance of acquired characteristics, but he had nothing to put in its place.
This sort of thing is referred to as the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Experiments would show that acquired characteristics were not inherited.
One of the intriguing aspects of this book is its demonstration that many elements of what are usually seen (following Ernest Jones) as Freud's embarrassingly Lamarckian tendency to believe in the inheritance of acquired characteristics, were actually present in Darwin's work and entered Freud's thought through his admiration and knowledge of that scholar--with whom, as a fellow-subverter of comforting illusions, he identified.
Little credence is paid to acquired characteristics through environmental influence, as espoused by 19th century biologist Jean Baptiste de Lamarck.