Mother nature's tolerant ways: Why non-genetic inheritance has nothing to do with evolution
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.
|Authors||Dickins, Thomas E. and Dickins, Benjamin J.A.|
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.
|Keywords||Natural selection; Non-genetic inheritance; Evolutionary tolerance|
|Journal||New Ideas in Psychology|
|Journal citation||26 (1), pp. 41-54|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Web address (URL)||http://dx.doi.org/10.101/j.newideapsych.2007.03.004|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||05 Feb 2010|
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