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Darwin-L Message Log 6:51 (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.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<6:51>From princeh@husc.harvard.edu  Thu Feb 10 15:16:35 1994

Date: Thu, 10 Feb 1994 15:54:09 -0500 (EST)
From: Patricia Princehouse <princeh@husc.harvard.edu>
Subject: Re: extragenetic inheritance
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I may have missed a few exchanges but I haven't seen anyone mention last
spring's big splash in _Nature_ about the congenital inheritance of "male
mimicking" genitalia in female hyenas. It seems like the classic case to
me.

There's also the case of handedness which I've heard may be related to the
site of implantation in the uterus. This is a bit more distant from the
original question as it is the proportion in the population which remains
constant, rather than generation to generation consistency in inheritance.
Sort of the opposite of the apple seed example in that no matter how much
right or left handedness would be selected against, the ratios might be
impervious to selection (so, presumably if right handedness were to cause
death within the first year, the species would probably go extinct within
a few generations as only 10%-25% of each generation would even
potentially survive to reproduce).

Patricia Princehouse
Princeh@harvard.edu

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