Talk:Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject France (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject France, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of France on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject History of Science (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of the History of Science WikiProject, an attempt to improve and organize the history of science content on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion. You can also help with the History of Science Collaboration of the Month.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Evolutionary biology (Rated B-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Evolutionary biology, an attempt at building a useful set of articles on evolutionary biology and its associated subfields such as population genetics, quantitative genetics, molecular evolution, phylogenetics, evolutionary developmental biology. It is distinct from the WikiProject Tree of Life in that it attempts to cover patterns, process and theory rather than systematics and taxonomy). If you would like to participate, there are some suggestions on this page (see also Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ for more information) or visit WikiProject Evolutionary biology
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Gastropods (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Gastropods, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of gastropods on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
Taxonomy: For all marine species, Project Gastropods uses the taxonomy in the online database WoRMS. When starting a new article, do not use sources of taxonomic information that predate the 2005 revision for all gastropod groups. If you need help with any aspect of an article, please leave a note at the Project talk page.
WikiProject Biography / Science and Academia (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the science and academia work group (marked as High-importance).
 
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
Former featured article candidate Jean-Baptiste Lamarck is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
January 19, 2004 Refreshing brilliant prose Not kept
This article has been mentioned by a media organization:

A note[edit]

This article duplicates Lamarck, but there is much more information there. I think we may suppress this one. --FvdP 23:14 Nov 28, 2002 (UTC)

Epigenetics[edit]

A contributor has insisted upon re-introducing this topic as if it were a justification of Lamarkian inheritance. The article referred to does say:

"Epigenetic mechanisms leave DNA sequence unaltered but can affect DNA by preventing the expression of genes. "
"These studies do not demonstrate inheritance between generations"
"To get to the issue of the more extreme variations of soft inheritance, it has to be determined whether the environment can induce an epigenetic change in an organism that can be inherited in subsequent generations. Certainly, nobody has shown that an epigenetically induced beneficial or adaptive change has been inherited."

The sentence under discussion says

"However, in the field of Epigenetics, there is growing evidence that soft inheritance play a part in changing of some organisms DNA and maybe transmitted to later generations."

Which is just what the reference does not say. That is why I reverted the change. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:22, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

I corrected that wording before you posted, its late and I had to run threw a few different sentences and kept hitting the save instead of the preview: it might help to add some text that these changes are not inherited, but I think that is implied when it says that the DNA is not changed. Hardyplants (talk) 07:27, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
While writing this, text changed to acknowledge that only expression of genes may be altered. I still think it may go too far, because adaptive change was what L. talked about, but have not reverted it. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:33, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
When Lamarck proposed his ideas of adaptive change, people did not know about inheritance of DNA or a fixed genotype. This is a type of adaptive change but it so far does not seem to be a heritable one in any organisms studied so far. Hardyplants (talk)
I'm happy to leave the text as it is now. I should have been more generous about your re-edit: it was well done, especially as you did it before my little rant. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:03, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
For what it is worth I agree the current wording is not bad. However, there are reliable sources that suggest that epigenetic inheritance can play a role in adaptation to the environment, and that in some cases this might possibly effect evolution in a Lamarckian fashion. Here are a few I found when discussing this topic in history of evolutionary thought: [1], [2], [3]]. This is all still quite preliminary of course, but it might be Ok to add some wording a long the lines: "Some biologists have gone as far as suggesting that such soft epigenetic inheritance might contribute to adapting phenotypes to environmental conditions in a way reminiscent of Lamarckian evolution." I think sources could be found that would support that. Rusty Cashman (talk) 03:34, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
As an encyclopedia, we should stay out of unresolved current controversies. There is not a single case of an epigenetic effect having any evolutionary consequences: it is all supposition. As for revivifying Lamark, how many times has that been promised and failed? If a significant epigenetic change is demonstrated which is continually heritable, that would be interesting. We could rethink the issue then. Macdonald-ross (talk) 18:08, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

I can't quite swallow "As an encyclopedia, we should stay out of unresolved current controversies", which is against the spirit of wikipedia and the letter of WP:WEIGHT, which encourages articles to cover unresolved controversies by summerizing minority viewpoints in the field (without giving the impression they are mainstream or consensus viewpoints). I think that at this point the idea that epigenetic effects may be influencing evolution easily meets the threshold of being a minority rather than a fringe view. However, you may be right that this article is not the right place to go into it. To date most of the speculation about epigenetic mechanisms affecting evolution have focused on environmental stress selectively increasing mutation rates for certain genes, and the idea that a genome may code for multiple versions of the phenotype depending on environementally triggered gene expression with the state of the switches sometimes reflecting the enviromental conditions encountered by parents or grand parents rather than just the environment of the developing organism. Neither of these effects really matches the ideas of Lamarck (and his contemporaries) or those of the neo-Lamarkians, which were much more about use and disuse of organs. Rusty Cashman (talk) 02:42, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Neither epigenetics or soft inheritance belongs in this article.LéVeillé 04:52, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

I second this. Epigenetics has repeatedly been described as Lamarckian, but there is no basis for this at all. No serious work has suggested that environmental effects that bring about epigenetic changes tend to produce changes that are adaptive more often than they produce maladaptive changes. And no role for use or disuse of organs has been suggested by research on epigenetics. So saying that epigenetic changes are a Lamarckian mechanism is simply wrong. (Happy 268th Birthday to Lamarck, though). Felsenst (talk) 12:26, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Botany[edit]

I just looked on IPNI today (30 mar 2012) and if you search for all names that he is an author of (excluding basionyms) you get 4095 from IK and 565 from the GCI. I think that some of these would not be accurate to use because they are either names where he is before the "ex" or they are for the species epithet and not the infraspecific epithet, but his estimated number of published plant names can be increased from 58.

On Tropicos.org I counted (30 Mar 2012) 63 moss names that Lam. is part of (not before the "ex" or in the basionym parentheses). This might be interesting to add.

I cannot determine an easy way through IndexFungorum to count the number of fungal names he published. There also does not seem to be a simple way on Index Hepaticarum to determine the number of hepatic names he may have published — Preceding unsigned comment added by HerbTricoter (talkcontribs) 19:42, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Geographical note[edit]

'After his father died in 1760, Lamarck bought himself a horse, and rode across the country to join the French army, which was in Germany at the time.' As this is the 1700s, shouldn't Germany be Prussia?86.17.247.50 (talk) 15:46, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Help on Environmental Determinism page[edit]

Hello Wikipedians,
I am a Columbia University student working on the environmental determinism page. We include a discussion of Lamarck under the "Western imperialism and colonization" subheading. Check it out and add to the talk page if you think his theory is summarized wrongly there. I added our page to the "see also" on this one.
--Sarah Whittenburg (talk) 18:47, 7 May 2016 (UTC)