[Marxism] The transition to capitalism: is it in our genes?

Einde O'Callaghan einde at gmx.de
Tue Aug 7 22:54:59 MDT 2007

Sayan Bhattacharyya schrieb:
> On 8/7/07, Auguste Blanqui <blanquist at gmail.com> wrote:
>> There's nothing that shows behavior is transmitted via genes.
> Really?
> Here's a reference (which I haven't read) which seems to suggest that
> it is not improbable:
> Hamilton, W. D. (1964) The genetical evolution of social behaviour.
> Journal of Theoretical Biology 7: 1-52.
>>And he
>>doesn't even get evolutionary theory right -- he's talking about a
>>dramatic change over the span of about a century!!!
> That could be enough time. See:
> "The evolution of the peppered moth over the last two hundred years
> has been studied in detail. Originally, the vast majority of peppered
> moths had light coloration, which effectively camouflaged them against
> the light-colored trees and lichens which they rested upon. However,
> due to widespread pollution during the Industrial Revolution in
> England, many of the lichens died out, and the trees which peppered
> moths rested on became blackened by soot, causing most of the
> light-colored moths, or typica, to die off due to predation. At the
> same time, the dark-colored, or melanic, moths, carbonaria, flourished
> because of their ability to hide on the darkened trees."
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution>
I don't know how long peppered moths live but 200 years is probably 
hundreds of generations. That is why evolutionary changes are observable 
in such a period. With human beings, even assuming that each generation 
reproduces immediately on sexual maturity 200 years would at most be 
about 15-20 generations, not long enough for such dramatic evolutionary 
changes - even if you accept "punctuated evolution" as a possible model.

Einde O'Callaghan

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