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May 25, 1912

The Inheritance of Acquired Characters.

JAMA. 1912;LVIII(21):1634-1635. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260050308036

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In this book the author suggests a mechanism whereby the inheritance of acquired characters may be effected on the physical basis of assimilation, cell-division and the biogenetic law of recapitulation in ontogeny. In this respect he places himself in direct opposition to Weismann, who denies the possibility of the transmission of acquired characters. The author defends the Lamarckian view, to support which he brings forth the following theories of his own: 1. All the manifold physical, chemical, morphologic and physiologic variations, which can appear in the most different parts of the organism, are to be ascribed to specific alterations of a single form of energy, so that the latter appears, as it were, the common denominator for the variations that are quite unlike in nature and whose combination or separation is thus permitted as often as required. 2. The determinative influence which the germ-substance in its totality exerts on the soma