In a recent paper entitled: Transgenerational Epigenetics: Current Controversies and Debates by David Crews and Andrea C. Gore, they outline the following under the heading: History of Epigenetics (2014):
Investigators in the field of epigenetics come from one of two distinct lineages, one derived from classic genetics and the other from evolutionary biology.[…] Preformationists believed that adult features were present fully formed in the egg and simply unfolded during growth; August Weissman belonged to this group and asserted that the eggs contained all of the elements (later known as genes) to determine the phenotype that would develop. Those believing in epigenesis held that traits emerge as a consequence of the progressive interaction of the constituent parts of the zygote with the environment in which it develops. Although others such as Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin were believers in epigenesis, the pivotal role of the environment in the developmental process was first demonstrated empirically by Oscar Hertwig (1894) and subsequently by Richard Woltereck (1909). p. 372
And Professor Denis Noble’s statement regarding his endorsement of an important collection of papers in book form entitled: Transformations of Lamarckism From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology, relating to Lamarckian principles of evolution and the epigenetic inheritance of non-genetic modifications (environmentally-driven adaptations) phenomenon clearly highlights the link to Lamarck and our current understanding of molecular processes in the following:
“This book is long overdue. Lamarck and Lamarckian ideas were not only ignored but actively ridiculed during the second half of the 20th century. As the subtitle of this book indicates, some of the most cogent reasons for reassessing those ideas come from within the citadel of molecular biology itself. A great strength of the book is that it does not seek to reintroduce Lamarckian ideas as they were originally formulated; rather, the Lamarckian perspective is used to assess where the modern synthesis needs extending or even replacing […}”(Noble 2011)
Below is an excerpt from an article on Science Daily entitled:
Non-genetic inheritance and changing environments
“Until recently, biological information was thought to be transmitted across generations by DNA sequencing alone. Furthermore, adaptation to the environment was thought to only occur with Darwin’s mechanism of rare mutations of the DNA that are selected for the reproductive advantage that they provide. However, scientists are now paying increased attention to non-DNA factors that are inherited and can actually help offspring adapt to their environment. An article published last week in Non-Genetic Inheritance — an open access journal by Versita, brings attention to this new mode of inheritance. The authors refer to a process called Transgenerational plasticity (TGP). Plasticity is a term used to describe how an organism changes its phenotype (e.g. morphology, physiology or behaviour) to adapt to its environment. For example, some animals become more hairy when bred in cold conditions. Transgenerational plasticity refers to offspring developing the adaptations, when the parents experience the environment.”
See link for full article http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131101091739.htm
Now you might notice from reading the above quote from the science article, that if you know anything about epigenetics and Lamarckian acquired characteristics – as documented many times on this blog and the fact that Lamarckian evolutionary principles in more modern parlance – EPIGENETICS is synonymous with a radical new synthesis emerging within evolutionary biology, not once do they mention the ‘L’ (Lamarckian word) or even the ‘E’ word (epigenetics) for that matter. Yet Transgenerational plasticity which is non-genetic inheritance (epigenetic markers that change the expression of the genes without changing the DNA sequence itself) which is a highly adaptive (flexible plasticity) that all organisms have in-built and acts in response to their environments, is exactly what the article is talking about. Indeed, the article on ScienceDaily website quoted above goes on to quote Eva Jablonka – a scientist who has written extensively on EPIGENETIC inheritance and species adaptability according to environment by non-genetic means. Here is what she says in the article, but note the ‘E’ word is never mentioned, probably because many scientists are now concurring that it is essentially Lamarckian evolution in action.
“Commenting on the surveys, Eva Jablonka from The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, at Tel Aviv University, says: “This excellent review raises pertinent questions about the adaptability of organisms and opens up important research questions. It is a vital contribution to our understanding on how organisms adapt to changing conditions, and I agree with the authors that trans-generational plasticity has to be considered if we are to predict the response of organisms to such conditions, an issue that seems to be of particular significance today.”
Please watch the short video where Eva talks explicity about the profound implications of epigenetics
Please, please, mainstream science promoters of the Neo-Darwinian genetic mutation driven evolutionary so-called synthesis, please stop this nonsense now and get with the wonderful new and diametrically opposite epigenetic (Lamarckian) synthesis instead. Darwin himself was certainly not opposed to Lamarckian type evolution (as documented in my blogs and books – see epigenetic caterpillar free e-book on site for example), so why have the Neo-Darwinists been so unjust in their suppression and ridicule of Lamarck? Well, that is another story, and again in some of my books and forthcoming works. Suffice to say, it is well documented and there is absolutely no reason why Lamarckian principles should have ever been subjected to the ridicule they have historically been exposed to. Furthermore, Lamarckian principles were updated and brought in-line with the deeper understanding of genetics (inheritance) around the turn of the 20th century and were gaining much popularity as the Saltationist/Mutationist (meaning large global changes seen in the development of cells and embryos could be extrapolated to understanding rather radical and profound changes in an evolving species in conjunction with its environment). I have written extensively on these alternative scientific and empirically testable ideas and experiments before the evangelising Neo-Darwinian movement began to take hold in the first part of the 20th century.