MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

1632 views

Explain the difference between Lamarck’s and Darwin’s theory of evolution? Why was Darwin’s more successful?

Darwin and Lamarck were both scientists who tried to understand evolution. 

Lamarck’s theory of evolution was based around how organisms (e.g. animals, plants) change during their lifetime, and then pass these changes onto their offspring. For example, Lamarck believes that the giraffe had a long neck because its neck grew longer during its lifetime, as it stretched to reach leaves in high-up trees, meaning that each generation of giraffe had a longer neck than previous generations. 

Darwin’s theory, known as natural selection, believed that organisms possessed variation (each individual was slightly different from one another), and these variations led to some being more likely to survive and reproduce than others. Features that made an organism more likely to survive or reproduce are therefore more likely to appear to each generation. In terms of the giraffe, Darwin’s theory would state that longer necked giraffes were more likely to survive, because they could eat leaves from taller trees, and therefore more long-necked giraffes will be born, which eventually caused all giraffes to have longer necks. Longer necked giraffes survived because they were a better fit for their environment. It is from this idea that we get the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’.

Darwin’s theory became accepted because it had more evidence that supported it. Lamarck’s theory suggest that all organisms become more complicated over time, and therefore doesn’t account for simple organisms, such as single-cell organisms. We also know through observation that characteristics inherited during an individual’s lifetime do not get passed onto their offspring; for example, if someone pierces their ear, it doesn’t mean that their children will be born with pierced ears. Darwin’s theory became even stronger when, many years after his death, the study of genetics emerged. Genetics ultimately showed that all inherited traits were passed on through genes, which are unaffected by outside world, as Lamarck would predict, and are instead naturally varied, as Darwin predicted. Though Darwin didn’t know what genes were, he could see their effect on natural selection.  

Ted H. GCSE History tutor, A Level History tutor, A Level Government ...

1 year ago

Answered by Ted, a GCSE Biology tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

232 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£18 /hr

Josh J.

Degree: Biomedical Science (Bachelors) - Sheffield University

Subjects offered: Biology, Geography

Biology
Geography

“I am a confident and diligent person who enjoys communicating and working within a team to find the best possible outcome for the student. I have a strong background in tutoring, and have worked within voluntary roles which aid those ...”

£18 /hr

Laura B.

Degree: Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry (Masters) - Newcastle University

Subjects offered: Biology, French+ 1 more

Biology
French
Extended Project Qualification

“I am a kind, encouraging person, always with a smile on my face. I have a high regard for learning, and believe that adding every day context to topics makes them easier to grasp. Being the eldest of 4 children has taught me patience a...”

MyTutor guarantee

£18 /hr

Firat G.

Degree: Biochemistry (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: Biology, Economics+ 1 more

Biology
Economics
Chemistry

“Currently, I am studying Medicinal Biochemistry at the University of Bristol. I tutor numerous students at both GCSE and A level and thoroughly enjoy being able to help individuals improve their confidence and understanding of Biology ...”

About the author

Ted H.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: Archaeology and Anthropology (Bachelors) - Cambridge alumni University

Subjects offered: Biology, Spanish+ 2 more

Biology
Spanish
History
Government and Politics

“Academic RecordI have just graduated from Cambridge University, with a 2.1 in Archaeology and Anthropology, focusing mainly on biological anthropology (how humans fit into biology as a whole). At A-Level I took History, Politics, Spa...”

You may also like...

Other GCSE Biology questions

What is the difference between mitosis and meiosis?

What is Homeostasis and how does it work?

Why do plants grow towards sunlight?

What factors contribute to phenotypic variation between organisms?

View GCSE Biology tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok