On Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 12:40:13PM -0400, John Clark wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 11, 2013  Russell Standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote:
> > All evolutionary processes have variation, selection and heredity.
> Yes.
> > What is missing from cultural evolution is an equivalent of the central
> > dogma.
> >
> How on earth do you figure that? Ideas can be passed from one person to
> another. Sometimes a person modifies the idea before passing it on to
> somebody else. Some ideas are good at infecting minds and thus get selected
> to play a major role in culture, and other ideas are not so good at
> infecting minds and thus become extinct after just a few transmissions and
> play no role in future culture.
> > Not all evolutionary processes have the central dogma - and even in
> > biological evolution, epigenetic changes
> > violate the central dogma.
> >
> How on earth do you figure that? There is certainly variation in epigenetic
> changes. If epigenetic changes can not be inherited then they are rather
> dull and play no part in evolution. If they can be inherited then in some
> animals those changes will work better than others in getting the animals
> genes and methylation levels and whatever other heredity factors there are
> into the next generation. And Darwin said that's all you need to get
> Evolution going; he knew nothing about DNA much less epigenetic changes but
> that doesn't matter because Darwin's logic still holds true whatever the
> heredity factors are.

You don't appear to have looked up what the central dogma is:

"The central dogma of molecular biology deals with the detailed
residue-by-residue transfer of sequential information. It states that
such information cannot be transferred back from protein to either
protein or nucleic acid."

(Crick, 1970, Nature 227 (5258): 561–3).

What it means is that lessons learnt by the body (ie protein) cannot
be transferred back to the genome (ie DNA). It is the antithesis to

Epigenetic changes involve changes of the genome by the body and its
environment, so is contrary to the central dogma. How significant
epigenesis is to evolution is another matter, of course.

In cultural evolution, you said it yourself - individual minds can
quite easily change memes prior to passing them on. Obviously, there
is no equivalent central dogma in cultural evolution.



Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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