Abstract

The annelid prot-arthropod ancestry of the vertebrates has recently been asserted on a Lamarckian basis. Lamarckism and modern Darwinism are here contrasted, and it is shown that the current neo-Lamarckian criticisms of the current theory of evolution are not valid. The current theory, of which mutation and natural selection are the most important parts, appears to be adequate to account for the observed results of evolution. Some of the major bases of the annelid prot-arthropod theory are then examined and shown to be erroneous. Finally, the Dipleurula theory of Bather is tentatively reasserted and shown to be the most satisfactory theory of the origin of the chordates in the present state of knowledge. Darwinian processes are adequate to achieve the necessary transition. The memory of Lamarck would be better served by reference to his many sound works than by the resuscitation of his greatest mistakes, his ideas on heredity and evolution.

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