Les piliers du darwinisme

Ce mois-ci marque le 150e anniversaire de la publication de L'origine des espèces de Charles Darwin. La théorie évolutionniste qu’il présente dans cet ouvrage de premier plan repose sur deux piliers : l’idée de la descendance avec modification et celle de la sélection naturelle.amp#160;

Selon Darwin, les organismes actuels sont issus d’ancêtres bien plus simples : ils sont le produit de lignages ininterrompus qui remontent aux origines de la vie. Nous disposons aujourd’hui de quantité de preuves, qui vont de l'étude des anciens fossiles aux dernières découvertes de la biologie moléculaire, au soutien de cette théorie.amp#160;

Toutefois, ce n'est pas Darwin qui a inventé l'idée de descendance avec modification. Cinquante ans plus tôt, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck émettait l'idée que les êtres vivants sont le produit d'un long processus historique de transformationamp#160;; or, les mécanismes évolutionnistes qu'il proposait, notamment la transmission de caractéristiques induite par l'environnement, n’ont jamais trouvé grâce aux yeux du public.amp#160;

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