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.
References in periodicals archive ?
It, too, talked about acquired characteristics, but not as an alternative to Darwinism.
Both Ruskin and Wilde were in the Idealist camp, yet Wilde eventually differed from Ruskin in his rejection of realistic art, primarily because they disagreed in their uses of a now-discredited theory of evolution, the inheritance of acquired characteristics.
He performed blood-transfusion experiments on rabbits, which undermined Darwin's effort to build upon Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's suggestion that acquired characteristics can be inherited.
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.
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.
This is called the inheritance of acquired characteristics, and this concept, though rejected by biologists, was influential among nineteenth-century social thinkers.
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.

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