Lamarckism found

Friday, 25 March 2005

For 15 years I have had a vague feeling that Lamarckism was called out too early. Single generation, environment based morphological changes are observed in many animals and even plants as this week’s edition of Nature affirms. This weft in the weave may be the reason Mendel needed to warp his data.

My feelings for Lamarck were graduated to hypothesis in ’98 or so (never seem to get around to peer reviews and publishing).

Gamete production is poorly, when at all, understood. I suggest the genitorial—permit me—state of being might well drive which and how chromosomes are divvied. The infinite complexity of biological chemistry in an animal may well be influenced by how far that fabled giraffe has to stretch its neck on a given lunch break. In fact, there is no way it’s not. Whether or not the resulting changes, however minuscule, influence the bisection of the diploid pie is the only the real question.

A few parts per million of a foreign body, like pollen or venom, can crash the entire system; even wipe it out. It’s not a stretch to posit dietetic, hormonal, weather, &c conditions tweak the percentages of the current cache of sex cells.

An abundance of muscle tissue in a parent, for example, might support a blood chemistry that cuts the chromosomal die along that grain. If a population of moths can flip colors in two or three generations and an anole can predictably mutate into a subspecies in one, there must be something besides split pea soup in the driver’s seat.

Lamarck never had a mechanism and he drastically over-estimated the potency of the phenomena but damn if he wasn’t onto something more sublime than integer math inheritance.

We leave the research and publishing of supporting data as an exercise for the reader. Don’t hesitate to give yourself co-credit, please.

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