Lamark was a prominent scientist in France in the late 1700's and early 1800's. He coined the term biology.

Many scientists in his day were becoming aware that living organisms appear to change over time. The more they studied fossils of the past the more they concluded life must evolve. No one had developed a comprehensive theory that would explain how life evolves.

Lamark proposed the idea that living organisms acquire certain traits during their lifetime and pass on those traits to their offspring.