Zoological Philosophy [Christmas Summary Classics] Jean Baptiste De Monet, Chevalier De Lamarck Author
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LAMARCKJean Baptiste de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck, was born in Picardy, France, Aug. I, 1744, the cadet of an ancient but impoverished house. It was his father's desire that he should enter the Church, but his inclination was for a military life; and having, at the age of seventeen, joined the French army under De Broglie, he had within twenty-four hours the good fortune so to distinguish himself as to win his commission. When the Museum of Natural History was brought into existence in 1794 he was sufficiently well-known as a naturalist to be entrusted with the care of the collections of invertebrates, comprising insects, molluscs, polyps, and worms. Here he continued to lecture until his death in 1829. Haeckel, classifying him in the front rank with Goethe and Darwin, attributes to him the imperishable glory of having been the first to raise the theory of descent to the rank of an independent scientific theory. The form of his theory was announced in 1801, but was not given in detail to the world until 1809, by the publication of his Zoological Philosophy (Philosophie Zoologique). The Lamarckian theory of the hereditary transmission of characters acquired by use, disuse, etc., has still a following, though it is controverted by the schools of Darwin and Weissmann. Lamarck died on December 18, 1829.


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