Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Lamarckian Inheritance

Evolution brought about by volition or by environmental induction; theory of Lamarck that included a mechanism of acquired characters proposed in his Philosophie zoologique (1809), in which traits enhanced through the exercise of memory during an animal’s lifetime, were said to be passed directly to offspring in their enhanced form. Used today to refer to any such proposition, other than mutation, by which an organism is said to have modified its genome by acquisition or design.

Cf. natural selection.

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