Lamark and evolution

Unified Theory of Evolution…

Darwin’s theory that natural selection drives evolution is incomplete without input from evolution’s anti-hero: Lamarck.

Good read. I’ve always wondered how big changes occurred in animal design. I’ve considered that Darwin’s theory was incomplete and that other forces had to be involved. This article deals with that to some degree.

That is the funny thing about a lot of historical figures. Their seems to always be a mythology that gets perpetuated as fact. Even Lamark, from what I remember, derived his theories from earlier occult and alchemical works.

Here’s a thoughtful (non-religious) piece on Darwin by David Gerlernter:

And here’s a somewhat dismissive rebuttal to that same Gerlernter piece:

I think this is all interesting but I don’t care about it a lot. I’m religious and believe we’re here because God willed it, and I don’t worry about exactly how it happened. If it was by evolution, that’s OK with me.

The Claremont Review article is so influenced by proponents of intelligent design that your claim (it is thoughtful and non-religious) is dubious. If the rebuttal seems dismissive it is probably because biologists are tired of the straw man attacks on Darwin and the false claims associated with intelligent design.
Most intelligent design arguments are:
1) Evolution through Natural Selection cannot explain this (insert something which most likely is explained)
2)Ergo Intelligent Design

It is altogether tiresome to defend Darwin and the legacy of his theory. Of course he could not explain everything. Mendel’s genetics would not be well known for at least 40 years after the publication of “The origin of Species” and molecular biology had its infancy 100 years later.

New knowledge has caused us to understand that evolution is more complex than Darwin expressed to us, but he knew that there was a wealth of information the world lacked in his time. Sadly he received a letter from Mendel which he seems to have ignored much as Einstein brushed off Georges Lemaitre about an expanding universe. Nonetheless the basic principles of his work are solid, well supported. and universally accepted. (Those who reject them are invariably influenced by religious bias, either first or second order influence)

I suppose as long as there is a perceived threat to religion from “Evolution through Natural Selection” then tiresome claims that “Darwin is Dead)” will always be with us. That is the lot in life of biologists. Like Rodney Dangerfield they get no respect.


Thank you. Well done. You cannot be a reprobate.

Tell that to Cougarboard. I posted that in this season it is to bad they don’t drink and it was immediately assumed that I am a slob with a drinking problem.

Nicely said Mr. Reprobate ! :beer::beer:

Good article. I’m interested in finding ways to include epigenetics into the biology core during the evolution unit, but there’s not a whole lot known about it, so it’s not a focus. The Unified Theory of Evolution would be a good way of summarizing the mechanisms of evolution which, sadly, are not taught well at the high school level. I see evolution as a combination of the four mechanisms (mutation, genetic drift, gene flow, natural/sexual selection) with the inclusion of epigenetics as a contributor to mutation as long as it produces heritable genetic variation.

Good point about epigenetics being a bit out there. This article on obesity mentions factors which complicate the traditional “just stop eating so much” perspective. Genetics and epigentics come up: The Obesity Era

The problem with the unified theory of evolution has always been the leap from primordeal soup to actual cellular development. In the late 40 or early 50s two biochemists showed you could use electrical discharge to create amino acids, the building blocks of life, but the next step to cellular development is tougher. It’s why the idea of panspemia, the process of seeding from extra-terristerial sources has been so populart.

A common misconception is that evolution has anything to do with abiogenesis. Evolution is an explanation of how allele frequencies change within populations after life began, not simply how life began.

Very true. But chemistry is beginning to deal with abiogenesis and here is a nice video that goes through one hypothesis. So even before the complaint is made now, we have the beginnings of answers woo hoo!! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hence the reason I stated it as the universal theory of evolution, where the abiogenisis argument is folded into the adaptation schema.

Yes, utahute2008 will likely accept what you said .But in the battle to defend Evolution Through Natural Selection from Intelligent Design the conflation of abiogenesis with evolution is more common than punting on 4th and twenty.

Also I don’t think “The Universal Theory of Evolution” is a widely accepted term.

How evolution builds genes from scratch.

New article in Nature, Oct. 16, 2019.

Scientists long assumed that new genes appear when evolution tinkers with old ones. It turns out that natural selection is much more creative.