Material Detail

Lamarck and Natural Selection

Lamarck and Natural Selection

Charles Darwin defined natural selection in "On the Origin of Species," however, Darwin did not invent the idea of evolution and not everyone saw his ideas as original. The shadow of Lamarckian theory which Darwin wanted desperately to escape is a genuine scientific precursor and what has become known as the Lamarckian Heresy has maintained a presence on the fringes of biology to this day. This radio broadcast explores who Lamarck was, how natural selection escaped from his shadow and gained acceptance from the scientific establishment, and whether any evidence has emerged that might challenge the elegant simplicity of natural selection. There is discussion about whether what is passed on to descendants may be affected by experience and environment; the experiments performed by Mendel that led to genetics; the role of DNA, gene mutations, and networks of genes in epigenetics; and how there seem to be fewer genes in humans than expected. The 2003 broadcast is 57 minutes in length.


  • User Rating
  • Comments
  • Learning Exercises
  • Bookmark Collections
  • Course ePortfolios
  • Accessibility Info

More about this material


Log in to participate in the discussions or sign up if you are not already a MERLOT member.