Many Darwimentalists get the shivers when hearing our fella’s name. Jean Baptiste Lamarck’s widely known concept of evolution through acquired characters has been mercylessly criticized, to a point where it seems nowadays more a sort of joke coming from france than a serious scientific hypothesis.
But Lamarck’s time has come. Several evolutionary biologists, including world famous Lynn Margulis, are starting to place into this, say, new branch of Darwinism called neo-Lamarckism concepts and facts that either weren’t easily explained by strict neo-Darwinist “rules” or simply fit into the whole scheme without excluding Darwinist theory.
In my opinion the two main points that several authors have stressed that can reconciliate Lamarck’s ideas with modern evolutionary theory are Horizontal Transfer of Genes (and genomes -> symbiosis ) and cultural evolution.
I think this is more a way of raising a bit of controversy than anything else since, in the end, we are all in the same boat, we simply like arguing!
Two books dealing with this concept:
Acquiring genomes: A theory of the origin of species