Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck (born August 1, 1744, December 28, 1829)
The botanist and zoologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck developed his own theory of evolution at the beginning of the 19th century, long before Charles Darwin. The theory nowadays used by the term "Lamarckism" is based on the basic assumption that animals can pass on their properties, which they have acquired during their lifetime, to their offspring. Lamarck based his view on environmental conditions, which in the animals virtually trigger an inner need for adaptation.
The most common example to illustrate the theory of Lamarck is the evolution of the neck of the giraffe. The habitat of the giraffe in the African steppes is dry and the supply of plant-based food is limited. Over generations, the giraffe had to stretch for food in spreading areas of the trees, which lengthened the neck length. From generation to generation, the giraffes passed on their newly acquired necklaces.
The scheme is as follows:
The need for living beings to adapt -> use of organs leads to higher education -> acquired traits are passed on.
Lamarck's theory from today's perspective:
From today's point of view, Lamarckism is refuted because the genetic material would have to change accordingly. However, this is not the case since the genes do not change as a result of the use or disuse of organs.