Failure to understand epigenetics shows Lamarckian inheritance

The failure of certain scientists to understand epigenetics has been shown to have Lamarckian inheritance, The Science Web has learned.

Larmarkism is the theory that organisms can pass on acquired characteristics to their offspring, and that this “soft inheritance” is the driving force behind adaptation of species.  Lamarckian evolution, or soft inheritance of acquired characteristics, was largely discredited by Mendelian genetics.

Modern evolutionary theory states that all evolutionary phenomena can be explained by genetic mechanisms; with evolutionary processes, such as natural selection, acting on differences between individuals encoded within their genome.

Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in a phenotype that are not caused by changes in the underlying DNA sequence.  However, most studies (which focus on DNA methylation or histone modification) make barely relevant, underpowered, unsupported and hand-wavey statements about how epigenetics could or might underly a heritable trait.

A certain subset of epigenetics researchers state that epigenetics is Lamarckian in nature, and in a surprising twist, new research published in the comic Science suggests that this mistaken opinion itself shows Lamarckian inheritance.

“Basically, what we’ve found is that once a researcher acquires the mistaken opinion that epigenetics is Lamarckian in nature, then all of that researcher’s offspring will also have that opinion” said Prof D Unce, lead author of the study.  “What this means is that the idea, the opinion itself, is an acquired characteristic that is passed on to offspring.  If that ain’t Lamarkian I don’t know what is!”

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was unavailable for comment.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Not news. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Failure to understand epigenetics shows Lamarckian inheritance

  1. clwedd says:

    “Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was unavailable for comment.”

    But were any of his offspring available? Surely they would have the same opinion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s