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Further Evidence for the Lamarckian Theory of the Cause of Evolution


THE death of Prof. William McDougall marks the end of an epoch in the history of biology. Prof. McDougall attained world-wide fame as a brilliant experimental psychologist, but his equally important work on the heritability of acquired habit has been, I think, for the most part overlooked. He experimented on rats, and he showed that when rats were forced by unpleasant experience to acquire a habit, they produced offspring which acquired the habit more readily than did their parents until, at the end of nine years, they acquired the habit at the first contact with the unpleasant experience.

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  1. NATURE, 142, 801 (1938).

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MACBRIDE, E. Further Evidence for the Lamarckian Theory of the Cause of Evolution. Nature 143, 205–206 (1939).

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