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From: adam louis stephanides <astephan@students.uiuc.edu>
Subject: (urth) Wolfe's Lamarckism
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 12:12:02 

On Sun, 14 Jun 1998 mantis wrote:

> So attempts to link "racial" characteristics to geographical details
> ("Caucasians are pale because they lived in caves and/or dark
> forests"; "Asians have a yellowish skin because of the yellow sands
> of the Gobi Desert"; "Tropical people are dark skinned in response to
> greater influx of sunlight year round") amounts to Lamarckism?  Hmmm.

No, saying that the process would be complete within fifty generations
seems to me most easily explained by Lamarckism.  I don't believe that
natural selection alone would operate that quickly in this case.
> But I thought that the English moths of Industrial England were
> always cited as textbook examples of evolutionary process?  That is,
> when the environment changed (through sooty pollution, in this case),
> some moths had camouflage and some moths didn't--those that did,
> survived, until all remaining population (or majority, at least) had
> the same advantage.  Then when pollution was reduced, the process
> reversed itself.

But in the case of the moths, the selection pressures were a lot
stronger--those who didn't have camouflage got eaten--so the changeover
was much more rapid.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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