An Alternate Natural History

Pax Christi, everyone!

What do you suppose life would be like if Lamarckism were true?

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Well, in cultures that do circumcisions, babies would come auto-circumcised.

I’ve not thought about it, but would assume that any physical traits would have to be acquired before reproduction to be transmitted to the next generation, which limits things a bit. Interesting to consider how, other than surgical type things, how difficult it would be to tell just by observation the difference between Lamarkian and Mendelian inheritance. I suppose that recessive traits would be the biggest marker to differentiate the two when examined without modern knowledge and technology.

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It would depend heavily on the mechanisms that drive Lamarckism at the molecular level and its relationship to phenotype.

Phenotypic plasticity is probably the closest thing we have to an analogy. This is where an organism changes in response to stimuli due to changes in gene expression. These changes are not heritable, but they are often adaptive changes in phenotype that are responsive to challenges in the environment. For example, when you work out your muscles get bigger. People with fairer skin will will increase melanin production in response to DNA damage from sunlight. In these cases, people with similar genetics will have the same response. If this is similar to how Lamarckism works, then we would expect a lot of convergent evolution of homologous structures, not simply analogous structures that we see with non-Lamarckian evolution.

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Would they now? What use is the prepuce? How is it used that by cutting it off becomes unused?

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Everybody would become Marxists?

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The offspring of some politicians would be born with neither brains nor spines.

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That sounds familiar…

 
And they have these in D.C. without the shell:

image

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Further comments on politicians: Their babies would have hearts three sizes too small, and noses so long they wouldn’t fit through the birth canal!

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