Mother nature's tolerant ways: Why non-genetic inheritance has nothing to do with evolution

Article


Dickins, Thomas E. and Dickins, Benjamin J.A. 2008. Mother nature's tolerant ways: Why non-genetic inheritance has nothing to do with evolution. New Ideas in Psychology. 26 (1), pp. 41-54.
AuthorsDickins, Thomas E. and Dickins, Benjamin J.A.
Abstract

Recently a number of theorists have suggested that evolution can use non-genetic or environmental inheritance to pass on adaptations (e.g. Mameli, 2004). Furthermore, it has been suggested that non-genetic, or environmental factors, can play a central role in the process of evolution that is not captured by the neo-Darwinian view which places natural selection centre-stage (e.g. Odling-Smee, Laland & Feldman, 2003). In this paper we present and clarify neo-Darwinian theory and then take issue with the notions of contemporary gene-centred selection and inheritance that non-genetic inheritance theorists have used. We claim that they have misunderstood the distinction and relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic inheritance and we clarify this with a number of examples from the behavioural and biological sciences. According to this analysis there is no such thing as biologically independent non-genetic inheritance, all extrinsic inheritance is a consequence of traits and dispositions that are intrinsic to an organism and intrinsic design can only be explained through neo-Darwinism. We point to the implications this view has for current conceptions of cultural evolution.

KeywordsNatural selection; Non-genetic inheritance; Evolutionary tolerance
JournalNew Ideas in Psychology
Journal citation26 (1), pp. 41-54
ISSN0732-118X
Year2008
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.101/j.newideapsych.2007.03.004
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/564
Publication dates
PrintMar 2008
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Feb 2010
Additional information

Citation:
Dickins, Thomas E & Dickins, Benjamin J.A. (2008) ‘Mother nature's tolerant ways: Why non-genetic inheritance has nothing to do with evolution’ New Ideas in Psychology 26 (1) 41-54.

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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/86546

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