Darwin-L Message Log 6:41 (February 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

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<6:41>From rbrandon@acpub.duke.edu  Wed Feb  9 14:45:51 1994

Date: Wed, 9 Feb 1994 15:45:35 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: rbrandon@acpub.duke.edu (Robert Brandon)
Subject: extragenetic inheritance

KELLY SMITH asks about examples of non-nucleic acid based
inheritance.  There are plenty of examples from cultural
evolution, e.g., the inheritance of wealth.  (Such examples
are where 'inheritance' originally appled--biologists adopted
this cultural concept to apply to biology.)  But, presumably
that is not the sort of example Smith wants.  Let me suggest
a very plausible, fairly well documented, example and invite
others to comment.  A number of plant studies have shown
that larger seeds, regardless of genotype, produce plants that
tend to produce more and larger seeds.  Thus seed size is
shown to be a component of fitness, and heritable, and
independent of genotype.  Is this the sort of example you

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