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Darwinism and Lamarckism

  1. Jul 5, 2005 #1
    Is this idea refuted at all?

    Also, is there a possibility that Darwinism and this theory could both work in conjuction? Perhaps a hybrid of the two.

    Any information you're willing to contribute to my curiostiy would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. Jul 5, 2005 #2

    Monique

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    More information on Lamarck here: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/lamarck.html

    I think that epigenetics follows his line of thought: the behaviour of an animal can change the genetic code through epigenetics, changing the heridity of traits. There are some experiments that suggests the heridity of behaviour, for instance licking a litter in rats. I am not convinced whether this is just learned inheritance or real epigenetic inheritance.
     
  4. Jul 5, 2005 #3

    Moonbear

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    Lamarckism (inheritance of acquired characteristics) is a long outdated theory that was replaced by Darwinism. The entire field of genetics refutes it.
     
  5. Jul 5, 2005 #4

    Moonbear

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    Perhaps very loosely, but Lamarck's theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics didn't distinguish such subtleties as epigenetics does. So, although there may be some similarity in terms of inheritence that is not dependent on DNA structure alone, Lamarckism, per se, simply didn't account for genetic inheritance at all.

    For anyone interested in an overview on epigenetics with links to an issue of Science with more detailed articles, follow this link: http://www.sciencemag.org/feature/plus/sfg/resources/res_epigenetics.shtml
     
  6. Jul 6, 2005 #5

    Phobos

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    Yep, Lamarkianism pre-dated genetics. There was an ugly, yet effective experiment used to disprove Lamarkianism in which the researcher cut the tails off many generations of mice and showed that there was no inherited reduction in tail length. (I forget who/when...I read it in Carl Zimmer's book "Evolution, The Triumph of an Idea", which I don't have with me at the moment.)

    Also note in Monique's link that Lamark postulated spontaneous generation of the most primitive life forms with subsequent evolution toward higher forms (with of course a bias toward Humans).
     
  7. Aug 23, 2005 #6
    "Jews and other religious groups have been circumcising men for hundreds of generations with no noticeable withering of the foreskin among their descendants. However, Lamarck did not count injury or mutilation as a true acquired characteristic, only those which were initiated by the animal's own needs were deemed to be passed on."

    "Environmental factors are also known to influence the emergence and reversion of epigenetic factors. This produces the possibility that epigenetic variations might be produced at several loci and in several cells or organisms. If these systems would affect biological evolution, adaptive variation would occur, which is a Lamarckian form of evolution. The question then is, to what extent does epigenetic inheritance play a direct role in evolution?"

    References
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Baptiste_Lamarck
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetic_inheritance
     
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