Which Was the First Theory of Organic Evolution?


Jane Flores

Organic evolution is a complex topic that has intrigued scientists for centuries. It is the study of how living organisms change over time and how new species are formed. The first theory of organic evolution was proposed by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in the early 19th century.

Lamarck’s Theory of Organic Evolution:

Lamarck’s theory, also known as Lamarckism, suggested that organisms evolve through the inheritance of acquired characteristics. According to Lamarck, if an organism used a particular trait extensively during its lifetime, that trait would become more developed and prominent in its offspring.

For example, if a giraffe stretched its neck to reach leaves higher up in a tree, its neck would become longer. This longer neck would then be passed on to its offspring, resulting in a new species with an elongated neck.

However, Lamarck’s theory was highly controversial and criticized by many scientists at the time. His ideas were often ridiculed and dismissed as unscientific.

The Rise of Darwinism:

It wasn’t until Charles Darwin published his groundbreaking book “On the Origin of Species” in 1859 that the theory of organic evolution gained widespread acceptance.

Darwin’s theory, also known as Darwinism or natural selection, proposed that species evolve through a process called natural selection. According to Darwin, individuals with advantageous traits are more likely to survive and reproduce than those without these traits. Over time, this leads to the development of new species better adapted to their environment.

Darwin’s theory was supported by extensive research and observation and quickly became widely accepted among scientists. Today it is considered one of the most important scientific theories in history.

The Legacy of Lamarck:

While Lamarck’s theory may have been flawed, it still contributed significantly to our understanding of organic evolution. His ideas sparked debates and discussions among scientists that ultimately led to the development of more refined theories.

In particular, Lamarck’s focus on adaptation and the role of the environment in shaping species was an important precursor to Darwin’s theory of natural selection.


The first theory of organic evolution was proposed by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. While his ideas may have been flawed, they played an important role in the development of more refined theories such as Darwinism. Today, our understanding of organic evolution continues to evolve as new research and discoveries shed light on this fascinating topic.