From Big Medical Encyclopedia

LAMARCK Jean (Lamarck Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, 1744 — 1829) — the French scientist, the zoologist, the botanist, the evolutionist, the member of the Parisian academy of Sciences (1783).


Studied medicine and natural sciences at the Higher medical school in Paris (1772 — 1776). The author of works on meteorology. In «Hydrology» (1802) Zh. Lamarck anticipated the principle of an actualism (variability of a face of Earth under the influence of current urgent factors), is later in more detailed form stated by Ch. Layell in «Fundamentals of geology» (1830 — 1832). This principle played a huge role in formation of outlook of Ch. Darvin. In «Hydrogeology» Ge. Lamarck criticized ideas of creation of Earth in bible terms, paid attention to antiquity of existence of life on Earth. The greatest popularity to Lamarck was brought by his works in biology (the term «biology» is offered by Ge. Lamarck). In 1778 Ge. Lamarck published the three-volume work «Flora of France» which brought it fame in scientific community in Krom the determinant constructed by the dichotomizing principle standard nowadays in all determinants of live objects was for the first time given.

Since 1793 Ge. Lamarck is the prof. of natural history in the Botanic garden, and since 1794 he headed department «insects and worms» in the National museum of natural history in Paris. Ge. Lamarck's contribution to zoology is very big. It for the first time divided animals into invertebrates and vertebrata, entered the concept «backboneless animals». In 1801 published «System of backboneless animals». Its huge work «Natural History of Backboneless Animals» had special value (in 7 volumes, 1815 — 1822; 2nd prod. in 11 volumes, 1836 — 1845), exerting during half a century a great influence on development of zoology of invertebrates, including and parasitology. In these books, and also in widely known «Philosophy of zoology» (in 2 volumes, 1809) division of animals into 14 classes and 6 «steps» was offered. For paleontology and the theory of evolution work Zh had importance. Lamarck «Memoirs about minerals from vicinities of Paris» (in 8 volumes, 1802 — 1806).

Philosophical and all-biological concepts of Ge. Lamarck nowadays use the greatest popularity. The pupil and the follower of fr. materialists and educators of the end of 18 century, Ge. Lamarck tried to develop their ideas in the conditions of Napoleonic reaction and restoration of Burbons. In final methodological work Zh. Lamarck «The analytical system of positive knowledge of the person» (1820) is stated system of his philosophical views. Ge. Lamarck as the deist considered that the Supreme creator created only matter and the nature; all other lifeless and live objects arose from matter under the influence of the nature. He emphasized that «all live bodies come one from others, at the same time not by consecutive development from the preexisting germs», thus here Ge. Lamarck opposed the concept preformizm (see). Ge. Lamarck offered 10 signs allowing to separate live bodies from lifeless, having put on the second place a cellular texture of live ph. Thus, it in 20 years prior to formation cellular theory (see) paid attention to generality of a cellular texture of famous then living beings. Lamarck allowed not only a possibility of self-generation of life in geologically remote past, but also a possibility of self-generation of protozoa in sovr, the period.

Developing the ideas of the Swiss naturalistic philosophy representative Bonnet (Ch. Bonnet) about «a ladder of beings» as reflection of progressive complication of the organization live, Ge. Lamarck considered complication of the organization as result of evolution. It after K. Linney who placed the person among primacies allowed an origin of the person from monkeys. Unlike Bonnet, Lamarck considered that steps of evolution, its «gradation» pe present to a straight line as it followed from «a ladder of beings», and have a set of branches and deviations at the level of types and childbirth. Idea of a branching of «a ladder of beings», not rectilinear nature of evolution paved the way for ideas of the «genealogical trees» developed in the 60th 19 century by Ch. Darwin's follower Gekkel (E. N of Haeckel) and other Darwinians.

Ge. Lamarck considered look (see) also wrote with objective systematic category that «types really exist in the nature» (1786) whereas «establishment of childbirth has no or shall not have any other purpose, except simplification of knowledge of types and their natural relations».

With the greatest completeness evolutionary views of Ge. Lamarck are stated in «Philosophy of zoology» (1809) though he stated many provisions of the theory of evolution in introduction lectures to a course of zoology in 1800 — 1802. Having paid attention to the general nature of variability, to the forward course of progressive evolution, Ge. Lamarck in the theory of evolution could not open emergence of the signs having adaptive character. He considered the main factor of evolution an adequate direct impact of the environment, in particular influence of exercise and not exercise of bodies, a cut leads to strengthening of data of bodies and signs not only at this individual (that admits and sovr, science), but also at its posterity (the so-called hypothesis of «inheritance of acquired characters» which did not obtain the experimental evidence). Ge. Lamarck assumed also that aspiration, desire of an animal conducts to strengthened a prilitiya of blood and «other fluids» to that part of a body, to a cut this aspiration is directed that causes the strengthened growth of this part of a body transferred then by inheritance. These ideas of Ge. Lamarck were adopted lamarckism (see) were also its center.

As the botanist and in particular the zoologist Ge. Lamarck exerted a great influence on contemporaries. His historical merit consists that the first complete theory of evolution was offered them in «Philosophy of zoology». However driving factors of evolution were not opened by it.

Zoological works Che. of Lamarck along with a set of the new facts and the ideas contained many inaccuracies, the speculative constructions especially brightly visible at comparison of its works with works of his contemporary Zh. Kyuvye. These actual errors and weakness of the natural-science argumentation of the evolutionary concept of Ge. Lamarck were one of the reasons of why his theory and the evolutionary ideas of his follower Geoffroi St E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire almost did not exert impact on minds of contemporaries. Ch. Darwin paid tribute to Lamarck as the creator of the first theory of evolution.

Works: Philosophie zoologique, t. 1—2, P., 1809 (the Russian lane, M., 1911, M. — L., 1935 — 1937); The Analysis of conscious activity of the person, the lane with fr., SPb., 1899; The Chosen works, the lane with fr., t. 1 — 2, M., 1955 — 1959.

Bibliography: Mosquitoes V. L. Lamarck, M. — L., 1925, bibliogr.; Puzanov I. I. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, M., 1959.

H. N. Vorontsov.