It is suggested that even in the absence of modification produced by any possible Darwinian or Lamarckian factors, that even in a neutral environment, divergent evolution of some kind would have occurred.
It should be observed, however, that Darwin did not attribute an essential part to this Lamarckian hypothesis of the transmission of acquired characters, but expressly assigned to it an entirely subordinate importance.
It is held 1 that the Darwinian doctrine of selection of fortuitous congenital variations is sufficient to account for all cases, that the Lamarckian hypothesis of transmission cf acquired characters is not supported by experimental evidence, and that the latter should therefore be dismissed.
The very cases which are advanced as only to be explained on the Lamarckian assumption are found on examination and experiment to be better explained, or only to be explained, by the Darwinian principle.
Spencer welcomed the Darwinian theory, and enriched it with the phrase" survival of the fittest "; but he did not give up the (Lamarckian) belief in the hereditary transmission of the modifications of organisms by the exercise of function.
A second argument for God is the prevailing goodness or adaptation of Nature to the ends of conscious beings, which might conceivably be explained by Lamarckian evolution, but has not yet been so explained, and if it were, would not be inconsistent with a divine design in evolution.
He doubted, but did not exclude, the importance of the direct effect of differences of climate and food and of increased use and disuse, except so far as the individual was concerned, but his opinion as to these Lamarckian factors changed from time to time.
And so the newer school discard acquired characters and all the Lamarckian factors and leave the board clear for "mutations."