Darwin and Inheritance: The Influence of Prosper Lucas

  • Ricardo Noguera-SolanoEmail author
  • Rosaura Ruiz-Gutiérrez


An important historical relation that has hardly been addressed is the influence of Prosper Lucas’s Treatise on Natural Inheritance on the development of Charles Darwin’s concepts related to inheritance. In this article we trace this historical connection. Darwin read Lucas’s Treatise in 1856. His reading coincided with many changes concerning his prior ideas on the transmission and expression of characters. We consider that this reading led him to propose a group of principles regarding prepotency, hereditary diseases, morbid tendencies and atavism; following Lucas, he called these principles: laws of inheritance.


Darwin Prosper Lucas inheritance variation atavism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Noguera-Solano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rosaura Ruiz-Gutiérrez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biología Evolutiva, Facultad de CienciasUNAMMéxicoMéxico

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