characteristic

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Both Ruskin and Wilde were in the Idealist camp, yet Wilde eventually differed from Ruskin in his rejection of realistic art, primarily because they disagreed in their uses of a now-discredited theory of evolution, the inheritance of acquired characteristics.
Such thinkers, for example, combined Lamarck's theory of acquired characteristics with Spencer's and Darwin's ideas about the evolution of morality and incorporated them into the concept of a created and "divinely instituted process" that would lead to a perfected humanity.
Darwinian evolution, however, does not--indeed, it cannot--transmit acquired characteristics to future generations.

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