LAMARCK, NOT DARWIN!
Abstract: Not attributing Evolution Theory to Lamarck constitutes scientific fraud. Why this fraud is committed is explained below thoroughly (including at the meta level).
Science is not just about truth. Science is truth itself. Thus, the history of science is about how one establishes truth. By itself that history constitutes a science, or more exactly a mine of experimental facts (and an important one), for the metascience of veracity (truthfulness; also called the logic of knowledge, epistemology).
First overall theorem? Misattributing a discovery to another place, another time, or another country is generally not happening by accident, but by propaganda.
In 1825, Darwin’s teacher of biology informed his 16-year-old student that Lamarck had discovered “biological evolution”. (This has been forgotten, thanks to nefarious propaganda.)
That the discovery of the theory of evolution is not attributed to Lamarck, constitute scientific fraud.
Why? It has to do first with Christian fanaticism, which did its best to lie about what Lamarck discovered. Why now? Because most scientists are too busy to read original texts, and it helps that Darwin was Anglo-American.
It was not the first time the Christian fanatics struck.
An example I am fond of is the misattribution to Copernic and Newton of ideas of Aristarchus and Buridan. The Catholic dictatorship, the obsequious servant of 2,000 years of queens and kings, is the engine of this crime. A very profitable crime, as it helped keep the rabble the exploiters were exploiting, in a state of stunned stupidity. Still is.
The misattribution to Darwin of Lamarck’s discovery, evolution, is more of the same theocracy and its associated aristocracy, anxious to keep We The People in haggard dumbness, as we will see below.
Darwinism is Lamarckism, according to Wallace. Wallace was himself a great biologist, discoverer of the Wallace Line. Wallace was on Darwin’s payroll, and was also Darwin’s coauthor. That evolution was Lamarck’s idea was actually confirmed by Darwin, who let Wallace repeat everywhere that Darwin had contributed little, relatively speaking (to Darwin’s daughter’s dismay).
So what are the facts on evolution?
Evolution by artificial selection was known for millennia, and practiced for tens of millennia (the oldest dog known is Belgian, and around 35,000 year old, it was very different from a wolf, and looked like a modern, enormous war dog, showing breeding of dogs from European wolves is at least 45,000 years old, I guess).
Breeding cattle, horses, camels, evolution by artificial selection, was a well-known art, not to say science, already in the times of Xenophon (that’s what the general-philosopher-economist did when retired).
Fossils were known in Ancient Greece. They caused confusion. To remedy this, Aristotle (PBUH), sent his students to study and report on life forms, thus founding, de facto, biology. (That the universe was not in a steady state was illustrated by the fiery landing of a giant meteorite in northern Greece; it was visited for centuries.)
By 1766, after proposing that the Solar System had been accreted from a cloud of debris, Buffon proposed that animals changed: they evolved. African and Asian elephants had evolved from Siberian mammoths, due to the changing their environment that their migrations had brought, he claimed. The details are unimportant: the evolutionary horse was out of the barn. Buffon’s broad picture of environmental pressure on evolution was also to be scientifically confirmed.
The full blown theory of evolution was proposed by Lamarck. This was a great conceptual breakthrough.
To this Massimo from Scientia Salon replied: “It was also the wrong theory, unfortunately.”
Massimo, do you mean that evolution theory is the wrong theory? Lamarck’s main body of work humbly established “the theory of evolution”, as Darwin’s personal teacher named it.
Lamarck did this, in part, by examining carefully under the microscope the evolution, over millions of years of mollusks species.
Lamarck suggested several evolution mechanisms, jointly operating (his detractors focused on one particular idea Lamarck floated in 1801).
When Copernic, copying Buridan and Aristarchus, proclaimed heliocentrism, nobody asked him for a mechanism. Still, one attributes heliocentrism to Copernic. While Copernic did not discover General Relativity, one still do not attribute heliocentrism to Einstein.
Yet those who claim Lamarck did not provide the most modern mechanism for evolution do just this.
One of Lamarck’s book, “Philosophie Zoologique” was published in 1809. The year Darwin was born. Here are some extracts:
“as new modifications will necessarily continue to operate, however slowly, not only will there continually be found new species, new genera, and new orders, but each species will vary in some part of its structure and form … individuals which from special causes are transported into very different situations from those where the others occur, and then constantly submitted to other influences – the former, I say, assume new forms, and then they constitute a new species…. [Species form] “a branching series, irregularly graduated which has no discontinuity in its parts, or which, at least, if its true that there are some because of lost species, has not always had such. It follows that the species that terminate each branch of the general series are related, at least on one side, to the other neighboring species that shade into them” [Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, 1809.]
Lamarck, employed as one of the world’s first research professors, demonstrated both the immense age of the Earth, and natural evolution, by studying fossilized mollusks.
Lamarck was so towering in biology, that he himself coined and installed the word “biology”. Here it is, in his own words, in the original French, in Lamarck’s “Origine Des Animaux Sans Vertebres” :
«Tout ce qui est généralement commun aux végétaux et aux animaux, comme toutes les facultés qui sont propres à chacun de ces êtres sans exception, doit constituer l’unique et vaste objet d’une science particulière qui n’est pas encore fondée, qui n’a même pas de nom, et à laquelle je donnerai le nom de biologie.»
Yes, Lamarck also named and distinguished, “invertebrates”.
Lamarck suggested that the way animals lived could directly affect their genetics. A scientifically confirmed way to get this effect is now called “epigenetics” (“above genetics”). Considering how adaptive life is revealing itself to be, it is likely that more and more “epigenetics” will be uncovered.
It is ironical that Cuvier and his ilk made fun of Lamarck claiming that psychology could leave a trace in the progeny of a creature. Yet, this has been very recently confirmed: Lamarck, a hero for our times.
Lamarck got hated for all this by the forces of Christianity. The idea that a living creature, could, by the way it lived, CREATE its own features was revolting to those who promoted the Christian god.
What Lamarck was saying, philosophically speaking was that the living creature acted as the creator.
No need for a cross, a father, a son, an omnipotent god. Napoleon hated Lamarck. The Church hated Lamarck. British universities, (Oxford, Cambridge, etc.) which, at the time, were bastion of imperial Christianity hated Lamarck.
Really great minds are measured by the disapprobation they entail.
Lamarck proposed that the long necks of giraffes evolved as generations of giraffes had to reach for ever higher leaves.
The Church and Lamarck’s enemies made fun of that (some still do, following the Church!). Lamarck was deliberately mistranslated in English to make readers believe that he suggested the effort of the giraffe somehow directly passed over in its genetics.
In truth, what Lamarck truly said was 100% compatible with 2014 evolution theory: “…s’efforcer continuellement d’y atteindre. Il est résulté de cette habitude, soutenue, depuis longtemps [by giraffes]… que ses jambes de devant sont devenues plus longues…”. By insisting upon reaching higher, girraffes created, with their own wills, a different environment.
Similarly, Lamarck suggested that there are flying squirrels, because squirrels tried to fly for generations (natural selection does not contradict this).
Lamarck did not just propose that evolutionary was driven by behavior. Following Buffon, Lamarck believed life started with spontaneous creation (this is the present view: laboratory studies and the most recent theory show that, in the early Earth’s environment, cellular life would appear spontaneously; fossils show it went fast: chemoautotrophs may have appeared 4 billion years ago).
Lamarck proposed that, insensibly, each baby was more complex than the preceding baby, so evolution would be characterized by an increase in complexity (as it indeed is).
Lamarck suggested birds descended from reptiles.
Lamarck went further than strict “Darwinists” go. He suggested that biology was an increase in complexity that could not be avoided, a sort of anti-Second Law Of Thermodynamics. Lamarck made life into a “force qui va” (to quote Victor Hugo).
This is a piece of philosophy, but one that has probably a great future: the Second Law of Thermodynamics is often quoted against life, but everything indicates that life swims up the stream of the Second Law, as the salmon swims up the river.
After 1815, reaction came over Europe. Jews got discriminated against by the Middle European dictatorship (they could not be doctors, lawyers, etc.). Lamarck, being an enemy of god, was made into an object of scorn.
The bloody dictator Napoleon launched Lamarck bashing: “[this book] … déshonore vos vieux jours… Ce volume je ne le prends que par considération pour vos cheveux blancs.”
The lies about Lamarck were deliberately crafted by a Christian fanatic, the biologist Cuvier. Cuvier, in charge of Lamarck’s eulogy misconstrued monstruously what Lamarck said about giraffes, and ill-intentioned unwitting parrots have been repeating Cuvier’s lies, ever since.
Cuvier totally believed that God had created all the species. Cuvier’s arguments are used by Christian fanatics to this day.
For example, after looking at mummies, and recent remnants, Cuvier pontificated that, as there was no evidence of recent evolution, there could be none. Lamarck retorted that Cuvier’s argument was mathematically stupid. Instead, unwittingly, Cuvier had proved, what Lamarck demonstrated first, that the Earth was very old, many millions of years old.
Lamarck being French, some feel more appropriate to attribute the discovery of evolution to the rich English gentleman Darwin, who, besides, was the heir of a financier, and not a vulgar research professor, as Lamarck was.
If Darwin’s teacher taught Darwin in 1825 that Lamarck had established “evolution”, why should we say now that “evolution” was established by the student of the student? Because, being in the Anglo-Saxon realm, we have to be Anglo nationalists? Is it all about tribalism?
As I mentioned this, EJ Winner objected that: “Patrice suggests that the bias against Lamarck is culturally determined (because he was French). This is simply and only post-modernism, in the least convincing sense. Need we really come to this?”
Well, I am not the one who came that way. Christian fanatics showed the way.
It is not because post-modernism is often wrong, that it is always wrong. Science and mathematics are, first of all, tribal phenomena. Sociologically speaking.
Lamarck was lodged at the Museum d’ Histoire Naturelle until his death at 85. Perhaps from spending too much time looking into microscopes, he was blind in his last decade.
Ideas are hard, especially when revolutionary. Parodying Lamarck’s ideas the way the Church did means that no meta-lesson was learned. Those who introduce the greatest new ideas, like evolution, deserve the greatest respect. Not showing respect for geniuses such as Lamarck is not to show respect for what makes civilization advance. Attributing Lamarck’s evolution to Darwin, just as universal attraction to Newton, belittles both Darwin and Newton, as it boils down to calling them liars. And it allows the real enemy to escape unscathed (religious and tribal fanaticism made into the dominant moods).
Attributing Lamarck’s discovery and affirmation of evolution to someone else, sixty years later, constitute scientific, and philosophical fraud. For want of a nicer way to put it.
That this is used to comfort the general intellectual aura of Anglo-American mental imperialism makes it worse. Ninety-six years ago, the First World War finished with a cease-fire. It had not solved the fundamental problem, namely that German speaking people confused dictatorship and republic. That lack of truth led them to have another go at it, 20 years later.
Ignoring truth is costly. Science, and metascience, can teach truth, and how to get to it. This is nicer in the longer term, as human beings are truth machines. Short term, it is anything but.
Truth does not have to be nice. It just is.