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Lamarck can’t be partially right

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From “Lamarck was partially right—and that is good for corals” in Science,

Abstract Ocean warming is one of the most urgent threats to coral reefs (1–3). Some taxa may migrate in response to changing environmental conditions (4), but corals and other sessile organisms only migrate through larval movement (5). This is viable for coral species with planktonic larvae, but not for the many coral species with crawl-away larvae that cannot migrate far. Adult corals must therefore adapt evolutionarily or acclimate physiologically to survive warming. On page 895 of this issue, Palumbi et al. (6) show that tabletop corals (see the first photo) can both acclimate and adapt to elevated temperatures in American Samoan back-reef pools (see the second photo), where high-temperature extremes are common. If the result holds for other species and locations, it provides hope for coral reefs under global warming. (paywall)

After all those years of “aren’t I good?”-girl ridicule, Lamarck turns out to have been onto something?

If non-Darwinian evolution really happens (that is what these people seem to be saying), a major rethink is in order.

But we have been saying that for years.

By the way, when and where does Darwinian evolution really happen, apart from “ghost lineages” (mere guesses based on theory), oh, and textbooks influenced by obscure secular humanist groups?

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13 Replies to “Lamarck can’t be partially right

  1. 1
    Acartia_bogart says:

    All that is available without a subscription is this snippet of the abstract. However, where does it suggest that this is Lamarkian (or non-Darwinian). Acclimating and adapting do not require any changes in genetics. Athletes will often train in areas of high elevation to adapt to low oxygen environments. Nobody suggests that this is evolution.

    It is well known that the expression of genes is not an all or none situation. Some genes are only expressed under certain environmental conditions. None of this requires a shift in genetic makeup.

  2. 2
    Querius says:

    bogart,

    You might want to read this through:
    http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/cours.....0Notes.pdf

    Are you saying that epigenetics was NOT the result of evolution?

    -Q

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: The scientific method refined to meet Darwinian standards
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.w.....#038;h=430

  4. 4
    goodusername says:

    Lamarck can’t be partially right

    What does that mean?

    In any case, it’s been interesting over the past several years seeing the transition from Darwin being mocked by Creationists and ID proponents for believing in the inheritance of acquired characteristics, to Darwinists being ridiculed for having doubted the inheritance of acquired characteristics. 🙂

  5. 5
    Acartia_bogart says:

    @Querius: No. Epigenetics is the result of evolution. Natural selection does not act at the gene level, it acts on the phenotype. The same gene can act differently depending on the environment (both internal and external). The sex of a turtle is dependent on the temperature at which they are incubated. The sex of a clownfish is dependent on the other clownfish that are present (the biggest meanest one becomes female). The environment dictates the sex, and the genetics dictates the phenotype once the sex has been “decided”.

  6. 6
    wd400 says:

    I don’t know why Lamarck can’t be partially right. Lamarck and Chambers and Darwin and Wallace were all partially right. Darwin was by far the most right.

    But there is not much in modern epigenetics to rebilitate Lamarck’s theories, this study included.

    Acartia_bogart,

    I don’t think it’s right to say “The environment dictates the sex” in these cases. Even in temperature depentant sex determination there is genetic variation in the temp. at which sex is determined, and the clownfish sex reversal relies on genes two. It’s better to say many phenotypes, including sex in many species, arise from the interaction of genes and environment.

  7. 7
    Acartia_bogart says:

    wd400, yes, you are correct in that “dictate” is the wrong word. I was merely trying to say that an expressed trait is often an interaction of genetic and environmental factors. But the variation in the phenotype is still restricted to those possible due to variations in genetic expressions. In short, available to selection pressures.

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    If global warming isn’t going to do the trick we’ll just have to find some other way to kill off the reefs!

  9. 9
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Mung, actually we are doing quite well at killing off the reefs with municipal, industrial and agricultural effluents. To mention nothing of dragging fishing gear all over the reefs. Global warming is just one more assault that they have to deal with.

  10. 10
    Andre says:

    They just can’t get to tell them selves that Darwin is wrong, instead someone else was partially right…. No Darwin no materialism… boohoo!

  11. 11

    Andre,

    actually Darwin was OK with aspects of Lamarckian theory and developed this hypothesis as ‘pangenesis’. Obviously as Darwin (nor anyone) had any idea about the genome and its relevance to heredity then pangenesis has been discarded in favour of Mendelian heredity.

    As the prevailing theory is Mendelian then you should be blaming Gregor Mendel or the people who incorporated Gregor Mendel’s work into modern genetics.

    Blaming Darwin is like blaming Newton for time dilation effects of modern relativity.

    lol

  12. 12
    Andre says:

    Lincoln

    Perhaps you did not understand me, If Darwin is wrong then materialism is on shaky ground, so instead of ever admitting that Darwin is wrong we get the people saying others are partiality right, but Darwin wrong in the eyes of a materialist? Never!

    “Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Charles Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

    [Dawkins, 1986, p. 6]

  13. 13
    Andre says:

    Lincoln

    I forgot to add, I did not ask for a lecture on Darwin. Thank you anyway.

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