Whether anyone admits it or not.
From Jef Akst at The Scientist on the recent appearance of many papers on epigenetics:
Last week (November 17), the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) published 41 papers in Cell Press journals and other high-impact publications. IHEC aims to provide researchers with a comprehensive epigenomic analysis of healthy and abnormal cells, and the new studies constitute major strides toward that goal.
“The number of papers and variety of topics addressed by this creative team of scientists from around the globe not only reflects the dynamic nature of this consortium, but is also evidence of the great strength that comes from bringing together complementary expertise, with the potential for far greater impact than an equivalent number of individual projects,” Eric Marcotte of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and chair of the IHEC executive committee said in the McGill release. More.
For sure. Epigenetics is one of the new areas of evolution research that make nonsense of hoary Darwinian certainties.
The fact that life forms can acquire genes during their lifetime and pass them on to their descendants obviates vast seas of speculation about how the life forms inherited genes that make them “more fit.”
The genes may or may not make those life forms more fit (in their specific environment). But they don’t cause their extinction either—and they were not inherited at all.
To talk about evolution honestly today means steering clear of textbook Darwin.
See also: Comprehensive human epigenome map completed
Epigenetic change: Lamarck, wake up, you’re wanted in the conference room!
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