Mother nature's tolerant ways: why non-genetic inheritance has nothing to do with evolution

Dickins, T.E. and Dickins, B.J.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-0866-6232, 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. ISSN 0732-118X

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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 nongenetic, 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 nongenetic 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.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: New Ideas in Psychology
Creators: Dickins, T.E. and Dickins, B.J.A.
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Date: 2008
Volume: 26
Number: 1
ISSN: 0732-118X
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:53
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:43

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