Re: Lamarckist Contradiction

Bob Keeter (
20 Nov 1996 05:45:33 GMT

Rabbi Bruce Cohen <> wrote:
>A point I wish to raise in regard to postings like the one I just
>read. Even the most amateur of paleoarchaeologists knows that
>Larmarckism (the belief that the genetic material of a species can be
>altered by the external, non-radioactive, non-chemical influences of
>its enviromment, such as climatic changes), is false.
>So why are we getting discussion about climate changes producing
>changes in the pedal architecture of primates? Are there hidden
>Lamarckists among us? The fossil record does not justify at this point
>the conjecture that climate change somehow yielded a biped, because
>bipedalism would make for better scavengers than quardrapedal, or
>semi-erect ape-like locomotion. There are no transitional forms in the
>fossil record to make such conjecture justifible publicly, are there?
>That was a sincere question, and please email any since REFERENCED AND
>FOOTNOTED response?
>Thank you. - RBC

I may have missed something, but I dont think that the basic contention
was that climatic changes _caused_ genetic changes, only that a change
in climate might favor or handicap genetic changes actually caused by
other agents. In a newly cold climate, those animals that were mutated
through whatever means towards heavier body hair would be favored to
pass on those specific genes! The cold did not in itself cause the
FIRST mutation towards insulating pelts, but it certainly would foster
the continuation and spread of that characteristic in the total population!