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Lamarck, the Founder of Evolution His Life and Work   By: (1839-1905)

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LAMARCK

[Illustration: Attempt at a reconstruction of the Profile of Lamarck from an unpublished etching by Dr. Cachet]

LAMARCK

THE FOUNDER OF EVOLUTION

HIS LIFE AND WORK

WITH TRANSLATIONS OF HIS WRITINGS ON ORGANIC EVOLUTION

By ALPHEUS S. PACKARD, M.D., LL.D.

Professor of Zoölogy and Geology in Brown University; author of "Guide to the Study of Insects," "Text book of Entomology," etc., etc.

"La postérité vous honorera!" Mlle. Cornelie de Lamarck

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 91 AND 93 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK LONDON AND BOMBAY 1901

COPYRIGHT, 1901, BY LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

All rights reserved

Press of J. J. Little & Co. Astor Place, New York

PREFACE

Although it is now a century since Lamarck published the germs of his theory, it is perhaps only within the past fifty years that the scientific world and the general public have become familiar with the name of Lamarck and of Lamarckism.

The rise and rehabilitation of the Lamarckian theory of organic evolution, so that it has become a rival of Darwinism; the prevalence of these views in the United States, Germany, England, and especially in France, where its author is justly regarded as the real founder of organic evolution, has invested his name with a new interest, and led to a desire to learn some of the details of his life and work, and of his theory as he unfolded it in 1800 and subsequent years, and finally expounded it in 1809. The time seems ripe, therefore, for a more extended sketch of Lamarck and his theory, as well as of his work as a philosophical biologist, than has yet appeared.

But the seeker after the details of his life is baffled by the general ignorance about the man his antecedents, his parentage, the date of his birth, his early training and education, his work as a professor in the Jardin des Plantes, the house he lived in, the place of his burial, and his relations to his scientific contemporaries.

Except the éloges of Geoffroy St. Hilaire and Cuvier, and the brief notices of Martins, Duval, Bourguignat, and Bourguin, there is no special biography, however brief, except a brochure of thirty one pages, reprinted from a few scattered articles by the distinguished anthropologist, M. Gabriel de Mortillet, in the fourth and last volume of a little known journal, l'Homme , entitled Lamarck. Par un Groupe de Transformistes, ses Disciples , Paris, 1887. This exceedingly rare pamphlet was written by the late M. Gabriel de Mortillet, with the assistance of Philippe Salmon and Dr. A. Mondière, who with others, under the leadership of Paul Nicole, met in 1884 and formed a Réunion Lamarck and a Dîner Lamarck , to maintain and perpetuate the memory of the great French transformist. Owing to their efforts, the exact date of Lamarck's birth, the house in which he lived during his lifetime at Paris, and all that we shall ever know of his place of burial have been established. It is a lasting shame that his remains were not laid in a grave, but were allowed to be put into a trench, with no headstone to mark the site, on one side of a row of graves of others better cared for, from which trench his bones, with those of others unknown and neglected, were exhumed and thrown into the catacombs of Paris. Lamarck left behind him no letters or manuscripts; nothing could be ascertained regarding the dates of his marriages, the names of his wives or of all his children. Of his descendants but one is known to be living, an officer in the army. But his aims in life, his undying love of science, his noble character and generous disposition are constantly revealed in his writings... Continue reading book >>




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