Re: Darwin and Lamarck

Chris Lees (
Sat, 24 Apr 1999 21:45:00 +0100

Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 21:45:00 +0100
From: Chris Lees <>
Subject: Re: Darwin and Lamarck

Jake wrote :

> The last time that I heard of research being done on these things, chopping
> the tails off of rats generation after generation, causes no discernable
> change in the genotype for shorter tails. Giraffe's don't get genes for
> longer necks because of any special stretching exercises from one generation
> to the next. Consistent circumcision generation after generation that occurs
> in some human societies, has not caused corresponding genetic alterations in
> those societies that code for smaller or non-existent foreskins.
> This is what is generally meant by saying that Lamark was wrong. Those ideas
> have proven thoroughly dispensible in biology, and that had nothing to do
> with alleged ideological phobias. If you are thinking about some other idea
> as "Lamarkianism" then I would be interested to know what you are talking
> about.
> In fact these examples cited above (rat-tails, giraffe necks, and foreskins)
> correspond very well with what Blackmore was talking about in cultural terms,
> of copying the instructions vrs. copying the product. This is very clearly
> the Lamarkianism she had in mind when she was demonstrating how cultural
> evolution was not Lamarkian as many other people have judged it to be.

So the list still benefits from your attentions, Jake ? I thought you'd jumped
off the metaphorical stage and taken your curtain call, in your last post ?
Nevermind, 'tis no concern of mine.

Regarding the above - I would be happy to attend to your interest in
knowing what I am talking about in the normal course of events and
conversation, however, in this instance I recall no expression of gratitude nor
appreciation for all my efforts to inform you, re 'scientism' , and the Grinberg-
Zylberbaum experiments. It would seem a little unfair to inflict the burden
of yet another topic upon you, until you show some sign of having comprehended
what you have already received. On these grounds, I decline your request, for
the moment at least.


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