Let’s just call this my random act of mischief for the day! 😉
Michael Skinner, professor of biological science at Washington State University just came out with the following in the popular press:
Unified theory of evolution Darwin’s theory that natural selection drives evolution is incomplete without input from evolution’s anti-hero: Lamarck
Is it indeed time to revise the theory of evolution? Or… Is Skinner in error and invoking a common misconceived textbook caricature of Lamarck? IMHO: Short answers = NO! & YES!
I urge any and all to read Mark Ptashne’s insights before weighing in the discussion.
Bottom Line: Nucleosome modifications may be necessary for epigenetic responses, but they are not sufficient.
To quote PZ Myers, who cuts to the chase:
We say epigenetics is really important in development and in physiological adaptation — it’s good to know more about it, and is essential for understanding the state of the organism. But evolution? Meh. Acquiring the process of semi-permanently modifying the cell state is something that was a key innovation (OK, many innovations) in EVOLUTION [emphasis mine], but it’s been overhyped as an information transfer process on evolutionary timescales…
So who got the epigenetics story right? PZ Myers & Mark Ptashne?… or Michael Skinner?…