Epigenetics Fail

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“Does the environment actually induce changes in DNA methylation that can be the basis of adaptive change? The evidence for that is virtually nonexistent, for those changes usually disappear after one or a few generations, and thus cannot be the permanent heritable variation required for long-term adaptation.”

“This issue was recently discussed at length in a new paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, “The sources of adaptive evolution[3]” (reference below; download not free but some judicious inquiry might yield a pdf). The paper was written by my good friends Deborah Charlesworth, Nick Barton, and Brian Charlesworth (the Charlesworths were colleagues in Chicago until deciding to return to the UK). The paper, which considers the evidence for epigenetic bases of adaptation, is written very clearly, a refreshing change from the postmodernist babble I’ve been inflicting on you lately.”

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