Darwin-L Message Log 6:47 (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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<6:47>From phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu  Thu Feb 10 07:52:22 1994

Date: Thu, 10 Feb 1994 08:52:51 -0500 (EST)
From: "Kelly C. Smith" <phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu>
Subject: Re: extragenetic inheritance
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Wed, 9 Feb 1994, Robert Brandon wrote:

> 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
> want?

Cultural evolution has lots of examples that fit the criteria I set out,
but for pedagogical reasons I wanted something more "biological".  The
example of seed size seems to be a good candidate...Kelly

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