On Fri, Aug 9, 2013  Russell Standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote:

 >  variants like Larmarkianism may well be possible.

There are a number of problems with Lamarckism, such as it never having
been observed to occur in the lab or in the wild, and it being completely
inconsistent with our understanding of embryology, but there is an even
more significant flaw. As Richard Dawkins has said Lamarckism can only work
by riding on the back of Darwin. According to Lamarck we can inherit the
acquired characteristics that our parents developed during their lives,
like powerful arm muscles if your father was a blacksmith and thick skin on
your feet if your mother did a lot of barefoot walking; but not all
acquired characteristics are beneficial and in fact the vast majority of
them are not. If Lamarckian evolution is to proceed in the direction of
greater adaption then you can't inherit things from your parents like scars
or broken legs or a poked out eye or the general decrepitude of old age. So
Lamarck needs a way to separate out the good acquired characteristics from
the bad acquired characteristics, and the only known way to do that is
Darwinian style Natural Selection. Therefore as Dawkins says "Darwinism is
the only known theory that is in principle CAPABLE of explaining certain
aspects of life"

  John K Clark


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