Who was Jean Lamarck?

   Did you know that Jean Lamarck was a French naturalist who proposed a theory of evolution before the publication of Darwin's books? As an officer in the French army he became interested in natural history when stationed in the Mediterranean. After leaving the army he wrote books on botany and in 1774 became keeper of the royal gardens. He stayed there for over twenty years, lecturing on zoology. He was very interested in the origin and evolution of animals and his books on the subject, which were published between 1809-22, paved the way for Darwin's theories. These are now universally accepted but Lamarck died blind and poor, unaware that his revolutionary ideas would succeed.