Contributions to Zoology, 85 (4) – 2016Jacques J.M van Alphen; Jan W Arntzen: Paul Kammerer and the inheritance of acquired characteristics

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The Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer (1880-1926) would by now be long forgotten if Arthur Koestler had not published ‘The case of the Midwife toad’, in which he depicted Kammerer as a victim of the paradigm battle between neo-Darwinists and Lamarckists. Kammerer is still on the scientific agenda, with at least 10 publications since 2005. The question is still out if Kammerer fabricated his scientific results or not. In this paper we provide the evidence that Kammerer consistently faked experimental results. We show (1) that the design of his experiments could never have produced the results that he claimed, (2) that the assumptions he made about the developmental biology of the species he studied are falsified by recent research, and (3) that the specimens he showed as proof for the success of his experiments came from nature.