Did that lobster on your dinner plate inherit its big crusher claw…or did it evolve through need, without the help of genes?
Genetics aren’t the only triggers for the traits a species develops, according to findings from a University of Alberta professor. The research challenges the classical Darwinian theory of evolution as being the sole explanation for how new life forms arise.
In a paper published October 29 in the journal Science, Dr. Richard Palmer, a U of A professor of biological sciences, says studies of hundreds of species have shown that a creature’s environment can be just as key in creating differences, also known as variations. "Variations that do not initially have a genetic basis can still be important for evolution. They are 35 to 50 per cent as common as genetic variation, at least when it comes to the evolution of asymmetric forms" Dr. Palmer said. He was able to synthesize published evidence showing that the current ’genotype-precedes-phenotype’ theory of evolution only explains about half of the examples he studied.
Bev Betkowski | EurekAlert!
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