The account of the actual sequence of mutations required was really interesting, though. It's good to see an article go into that kind of detail!
Furthermore, the brain doesn't control evolution though "thinking", it's powered by natural selection outside the body.
so people are working on reproducing this and understanding this process more, to say more clearly: scientists are actively researching how evolution can happen without natural selection
We are discovering some nonmendelian dynamics of inheritance, but being epigenetic they are only about how the organism can differentially use its genetic library.
so far all the responses seem to be more about a semantical distinction of the word evolution and natural selection
When we stress mice and notice a difference in their offspring through epigenetics, this is something
that has already evolved in mice. Parts of the parental DNA get "marked" and the mark passes on to the offspring
and influences their development, but the mechanism that connects external stress and the marking of the parental DNA
is itself a genetic mechanism and subject to evolution.
The offspring whose development was changed because of the parental stress isn't evolved, much like a baby with FASD isn't "evolved" either
This sounds incoherent. What does "natural selection" mean to you?
"Change of the organism between generations" is called "genetic drift" if it's undirected and "selection" if it's directed. The concept of "evolution without natural selection" doesn't really exist.
Selection is how you get organisms that appear to be designed for a purpose. Sexual attractiveness is a purpose.
This idea isn't that far-fetched, when considering something like this is possible https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181022085844.h...
> "90% unused brain capacity"
However, the myth of the 90% unused brain capacity is a myth. Different parts of the brain are always active depending on the environment and the tasks being undertaken at any given moment, due to the brain's structure as a sort of parallel processing machine with specialized areas (speech, visual processing, auditory processing, etc.).
Even if not, I'd be completely unsurprised to find out that some of the "random mistakes" or "junk DNA" that we have floating around in our bodies actually reacts in some obscure way to different environmental influences to tweak our gene expression and whatnot.
The central problem for Lamarckism is explaining how the body is supposed to know which changes are beneficial. A blacksmith might develop a strong right arm, but also tennis elbow.
Its nice that science is able to adapt to new information.
Natural selection needed to be an absolute to counter state-religion based spontaneous creation.
But its now not an absolute, with worthwhile investigation of how life experience can make its way into zygotes.
Maybe one day we can even prove spontaneous creation, and learn the process for that.
That's still natural selection, it's just a different mechanism for it.
(I suspect its etymological origin is more related to Frysia, though.)
friesland's name is disputed though between being founded by a guy named 'friso' and that 'Fries' means 'peoples with curly hair' :D - so much for logic & linguistics :D!
Which is why I didn't want to go into the actual etymology, because the only reason it was a fun fact is because the current meaning of the word is freeze, regardless of what it referred to in the past :)
But I wanted to call out a confusing use of the increasingly ambiguous word “partner” here: “There, she and her partner, Arthur DeVries, studied the notothens”.
What sort of partner? Research partner, clearly. Oh, but with some googling you can find that they are married, so also romantic/life partner.
I appreciate the sentiment behind the takeoff in the use of this phrasing, but it inevitably leads to confusion in communication. Can we come up with a better word that is not so ambiguous? And if not, can we (or at least the editors at places like The Atlantic) try to clarify what sort of partner when the meaning is ambiguous?
> What sort of partner? Research partner, clearly.
The fact that the two happen also to be married need not be related to the use of the word.
I agree, but a lot of science reporting and especially TV/movie documentaries are going down the path of "telling a story" and focusing more on the process and characters involved rather than facts. This is particularly true from outlets like the Atlantic, so if GP went in with the expectation of that kind of article I can understand how they got confused.