This is a vindication of sorts for 18th century naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck. Lamarck, whose writings on evolution predated Charles Darwin’s, believed that evolution was driven in part by the inheritance of acquired traits.

With the advent of Mendelian genetics and the later discovery of DNA, Lamarck’s ideas fell out of favor entirely. Research on epigenetics, while yet to uncover anything as dramatic as Lamarck’s giraffes, does suggest that acquired traits can be heritable, and that Lamarck was not so wrong after all.

Advertisements