However, the most scientifically accepted theory on the origin of life is the theory of evolution. Evolution means a gradual development of an organism from a simple state to the complex structure. This concept of gradual development was first discussed by Lamarck, who proposed a theory that evolution was due to the passage of physically acquired traits from parent to offspring. Charles Darwin later, in 1859, proposed a more clear theory that stated that evolution of life was; as a result, of natural selection (Coyne, 2009). Scientific understanding of evolution A French biologist, Jean Baptiste de Lamarck argued that through use and non- use of body organs, species underwent changes to adapt to the changing environment, those changes were passed to their offspring and thus, as a result, of many accumulated changes the emergence of complex organisms.
According to Lamarck, the modification of organisms current form are caused by the changes in the surrounding environment and the organisms attempts to adapt to the changes. For instance, Lamarck believed that giraffes had to stretch their necks to reach for food and so their offspring and later generations were born with elongated necks.
However, Lamarck’s argument has been widely criticized and disproved because biologically, and acquired traits are not inherited. Despite his attempts to illustrate how acquired traits are passed from parents to their offspring, Lamarck lacked concrete supporting evidence. This theory was disapproved in several ways. First, experiments performed by critiques showed that acquired traits are not passed to the offspring. Examples, an athlete who is masculine due to daily exercising, their offspring did not come automatically masculine. The other way that Lamarck’s theory was disproved was through the study of genetics which showed parents traits are passed to their offspring through genes.
Genes however do not carry physically acquired traits. Several years after Lamarck proposed his theory, an English naturalist Charles Darwin in his book The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection proposed a different but a more substantiated evolution mechanism. It stated that all living organisms originated from a common simplistic descendant to the complex creatures present and the difference is due to a collection of different traits useful to particular organisms.
The idea came to him in a 5 year voyage aimed at exploring flora and fauna of different continents and islands. From September 1854, he devoted his entire time compiling, observing and experimenting of the relation of transmutation of species (Francis, 2007).
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