The extended evolutionary synthesis and the role of soft inheritance in evolution

Dickins, Thomas E. ORCID logoORCID: and Rahman, Q. (2012) The extended evolutionary synthesis and the role of soft inheritance in evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279 (1740) . pp. 2913-2921. ISSN 0962-8452 [Article] (doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.0273)

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In recent years a number of researchers have advocated extending the modern synthesis in evolutionary biology. One of the core arguments made in favour of an extension comes from work on soft inheritance systems including transgenerational epigenetic effects, cultural transmission, and niche construction. In this paper we outline this claim and then take issue with it. We argue that the focus upon soft inheritance has led to a conflation of proximate and ultimate causation, which has in turn obscured key questions about biological organization and calibration across the life-span to maximize average lifetime inclusive fitness. We illustrate this by presenting hypotheses that we believe incorporate the core phenomena of soft-inheritance and will aid in understanding them.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Behavioural Biology group
Item ID: 12276
Depositing User: Tom Dickins
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 13:13
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2017 13:17

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