Lamarck vs. Darwin Theory of Evolution

Lamarck and Darwin both wanted to find out the evolution of human beings on earth with their theories. They had theories based on different ideas. However, they both had one notion in common that life has changed over the years and it is still evolving. They also believed that organisms have changed over the years to adapt to the changing environment to ensure survival. However, they had different notions about the evolution of life on this planet. This is why both of them came up with individual theories.

Lamarck Vs. Darwin Theory Of Evolution

This blog aims
to understand everything about both Lamarck and Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Keep reading to understand the nitty-gritty of both theories. Know how Lamarck vs. Darwin’s theory has helped
scientists to come up with more interpretations about the evolution of various organisms on this
planet. 

Difference
between adaptation and evolution: What is it all about?

Both scientists
have talked about adaption and evolution in their theories. However, before we
know everything about their theories, we should have a clear idea about the
difference between adaption and evolution.

Adaption Evolution
Definition:  The
scientific definition says that adaption is the act of adjustment. The living
beings are expected to understand and accept specific changes to fit into the
situation and survive in the long run. 
Definition: Evolution is regarded as the process by which
different living organisms are believed to have developed over time from
their earlier forms.
Degree of the
change:
Adaption
is a small-term process. The environment is likely to witness changes within
a minimal span. Adaption is all about getting used to the changes within a
short period. 
Degree of
change:

Evolution is a long-term change. The developments of the organisms are
witnessed slowly with the gradual passage of time.
Causes: The process of adaption began with the effect of
environmental conditions. The living organisms need to adapt to the changes
in the environment to survive.
Causes: Evolution occurs to speciation. The formation of
new species in the course of the process is inevitable.
Reversibility: In case of adaption, the changes can be undone. A
final substance can be converted again to the original form.
Reversibility: In the process of evolution, no change is
reversible. It occurs over generations. When a change is evident and already
happened, there is no way to change it.
Final Outcome: Adaption results in phenotypic variation. Final Outcome: Evolution results in new species.

To put it in a nutshell, adaption and evolution are two processes of survival on the planet. Adaption is the development of beneficial characteristics to fit the habitat. On the other hand, evolution is the long-term process of changing the characters of different organisms that occur in the genetic level. Now, let us know how did Lamarck contribute to the theory of evolution and how it is different from Darwin’s theory.

Figure
1: Difference between adaption and evolution

Lamarck vs. Darwin: what did they believe regarding
evolution and adaption

Both scientists
tried to understand the evolution of life, based on their perceptions. Although
they had certain similarities in their beliefs, the differences between the two
theories are also evident. Let us know what both the scientists believed. 

Lamarck’s theory of evolution or Lamarckian
evolution:

Lamarck came up
with his theory of Inheritance of
Acquired characteristics
in 1801. He explained that if an organism changes
to adapt to its environment, those changes are passed on to its offspring.
According to Lamarck, change is made by the organism to fulfil their needs to
survive in the changing environment. 

Lamarck’s
inheritance defined that an organism can pass on characteristics of specific
organs to the offspring that it has used or disused in its lifetime. For
instance, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck believed that Giraffes stretched their necks to
get access to foods from tall trees and plants. Therefore, as a result, their
offspring and later generation were born with long necks. 

Lamarckian
evolution or Lamarck’s evolutionary framework proposed a systematic theoretical
framework to understand the process vividly. 

  1. “Life
    by its own force tends to increase the volume of all organs which possess the
    force of life. The force of life extends the dimensions of those parts up to
    the extent that those parts bring to themselves”

According to the
first law of Lamarck’s theory, life, by its force, has increased the volume of
various organs that served the organisms to live on the planet. Lamarck’s
theory explained that elephants had small trunks and eventually they extended
their trunks to get food and fulfil their needs. That proves that organisms
help themselves to survive on this planet.

  • “The
    production of a new organ in an animal body results from a new requirement and
    it continues to make itself felt. A new movement which that requirement gives
    birth to, and its upkeep/maintenance;”

Lamarck also explained that whenever a new organ is produced in an animal body, it should have particular usage. The organ should serve the animal in some way or the other.The organisms are likely to born with that organ from the next generation onwards.

  • “The
    development of the organs and their ability are constantly a result of the use
    of those organs.”

The theory has also described the need for the organs in his third law within the evolutionary framework. According to Lamarck’s perception, when an organ develops in an animal’s body, it happens with the constant use of that organ. In due course of time, the organ also increases its ability to serve the animals better.

  • “All
    that has been acquired, traced, or changed, in the physiology of individuals
    during their life is conserved through the genesis, reproduction, and transmitted
    to new individuals who are related to those who have undergone those
    changes.”

In the fourth
law of the framework, Lamarck explained the concept of inheritance. According
to him, the physiological changes of an animal are conserved through the
genesis and transmitted to the next generation.

Darwin theory of evolution:

Charles Darwin
came up with his theory of evolution with a set of new thoughts and analysis.
According to Darwin’s theory of evolution, each individual is slightly
different from others. The theory of Darwin is also known as natural selection.
He explained that the variations in animals led to some being more likely to
survive and reproduce than others. He also added that physiological features
that make an organism survive are more likely to appear with each generation.

Charles Darwin
brought something more credible than the old philosophy. According to the main
principle of the natural selection theory, it is the conservation of a
functional advantage that allows species to compete better in an undomesticated
environment. He introduced the much-known theory of ‘survival of the fittest’.
Darwin explained that organisms that could adapt to the changes are likely to
survive. The inferior or the deprived members of the same species will eventually
go extinct as they fail to cope up with the environmental changes.

These are the five main points of Darwin’s theory

The five points
of his theory explained the competition that increased with an increase in the
variety of organisms.

Different theories of evolution

Apart from Lamarckism and Darwinism, the other two theories of evolution
played a significant role in understanding the process of evolution.

1. Mutation Theory of Evolution:

The theory was proposed by a Dutch Botanist named Hugo De Vries. He
experimented with plants to understand the theory of inheritance in reality. He
allowed some of the plants to self-pollinate and observed the next generation.

Through this experiment, he observed that the majority of plants of the
first generation were found to be of the parental type. However, with the
fourth or fifth generation, there were differences in flower size, shape, the
arrangement of buds, etc.

2.  Synthetic
Theory of Evolution:

The synthetic theory is also known as Neo-Darwinism, designated by a
scientist named Huxley. It emphasises the importance of populations as the
units of evolution and the central role of natural selection as the most
important mechanism of evolution. Some of the essential factors of this theory
are:

  • Gene
    mutation
  • Numerical
    Chromosomal Mutation
  • Deficiency
    of Gene block
  • Translocation
    of genes

Read the blog to know that deciphering evolution theories are not hard
nuts to crack. These theories have helped other scientists to come up with more
experiments and observation.

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