anclondon at gn.apc.org
Tue Jun 27 20:03:40 MDT 1995
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> From: Jim Jaszewski
<ab975 at main.freenet.hamilton.on.ca> Subject: Re: Lamarck and
On Fri, 23 Jun 1995, Lisa Rogers wrote:
> I think the Lamarckian answer might have been "well, we're not
> talking about cosmetic changes. It has to be something useful,
> adaptive, in order for it to affect one's descendants." The
> example I've heard is that of a blacksmith, who is very large
> muscular. He gets that way from practice. Since he uses his
> all his life, this muscularity somehow (no mechanism suggested)
> somehow becomes inheritable. Therefore, he will have muscular
> who of course are well-suited to the blacksmiths' profession.
Indeed, if no mechanism is found, then Lamarckism is
I myself have always been curious, though, of the effects
of agriculture on human physiology. Even MORE so, I've been
curious of the effects on our genetic make-up of the discovery of
I thought that if the environment changes and the organism adapts
to these changes and it's offspring inherits them this was
In the case of the blacksmith perhaps the muscles are not
inherited because they are not sufficiently important for the
survival of the species. I wonder however about for example
tallness. People are generally getting taller as I understand. Or
brain size which we talked about before.
We also had a bit in the past about Nature/nurture.
Are there not significant differences in all these cases? But also
these differences are not necessarily watertight. Do they not
overlap at the edges?
I saw some discussion of the idea that evolution in Homo Sapiens
is not taking place so much in physical characteristics but in the
organization and ability of the brain to comprehend the world.
Certainly mental attitudes and approaches are handed down from
generation to generation. Is this "inherited characteristics?"
Has human evolution become the evolution of society?
Perhaps I am questioning the basic tenants of Biology and
Evolution as is discussed in the circles of the experts.
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