One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A modification or change in an organ or tissue during the lifetime of an organism due to use, disuse, or environmental effects, and not inherited.
- ‘In the usual phrase, an acquired character has, at least partly, been inherited.’
- ‘The theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics postulated by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck early in the 19th century is undergoing a surprising revival, albeit in modified form.’
- ‘There are, however, a few examples of biological systems in which acquired characters are passed onto future generations.’
- ‘The giraffe is often used as an example of contrast between Lamarck's idea of acquired characteristics with Darwin's natural selection.’
- ‘He had observed that certain species had profoundly reduced or rudimentary organs, and he explained them not as a consequence of natural selection, but as evidence of the inheritance of acquired characters.’
- ‘The details of this theory need not concern us, except to note that it was ‘Larmarckist’ in its contention that it is possible for organisms to inherit acquired characteristics.’
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