(Jablonka 2002, p. 582)
Through discussions with a wide variety of practitioners and commentators in diverse fields, including Lynn Margulis, Paulien Hogeweg, Barry Cunliffe, Dan Dennett, Lewis Wolpert, Eva Jablonka Denis Noble, Rupert Sheldrake, Lucy Duran and Simon Conway-Morris, it appears that something like a revolution in evolutionary theory is underway and it's happening very fast.
(Jablonka 2002, p. 585).
Eva Jablonka (2002) is an example of Downes’ second category.
A further mechanism, identified by Avital and Jablonka, is assimilate and stretch.
Eva Jablonka has also defended a version of this idea (Jablonka 2002).
According to this view phenotypic traits are the targets or units of selection (Jablonka 2004).
Jablonka points out that according to this definition, genes do not have a theoretically privileged status; they are one among many sources of information.
Mary-Jane West-Eberhard summarized this observation with the claim that genes are typically followers in evolution rather than the ones leading the way (Jablonka 2006; West-Eberhard 2003).
Others, particularly Jablonka and Lamb (2005, 2007), think that reproducers are distinct from replication, and that some epigenetic inheritance systems are reproducers without being replicators.
The section concludes with a detailed discussion of the influential account of inheritance systems presented by Jablonka and Lamb and a discussion of ecological inheritance and niche construction.
Jablonka says that the sense of information in all these situations involve a source, a receiver system (organism or organism-designed system), and a special type of reaction of the receiver to the source.
Informational metaphors may capture some features of biology, but the error was in thinking that only DNA carried that biological information (Griffiths 2001; Jablonka 2002; entry: biological information).
Alexander Badyaev suggests an evolutionary continuum of inheritance systems that reflect the extent or stage of assimilation from epigenetic (in the broad sense of Jablonka and Lamb) to genetic inheritance.
The epigenetic, behavioral, and symbolic dimensions in evolution discussed by Jablonka and Lamb produce induced variation which may affect evolution through processes of assimilation as well as through their hereditary affects.
In particular, they argue that Maynard Smith and Szathmáry’s approach neglects the role of instructive processes, of the sort typically found in EISs, BISs, and the SIS, which lead to induced hereditary changes that are acted upon by natural selection (Jablonka & Lamb 2005: 343).
The notion of inheritance system, in contrast, as used by Jablonka and Lamb in particular, is meant to classify inheritance factors, mechanisms, and processes, and the ways in which they store and carry hereditary information (Jablonka 2001; Jablonka & Lamb 2005).
Jablonka and Lamb characterize four broadly defined inheritance systems: two fairly specific inheritance systems — the genetic inheritance system and the symbolic inheritance system found in human languages — and two classes of inheritance systems — cellular and organismal epigenetic inheritance systems and behavioral inheritance systems.
Jablonka (Jablonka 2001, 2002) introduced her discussion of inheritance systems by characterizing them as systems that carry hereditary information, which in turn she defined as “the transmissible organization of an actual or potential state of a system” (cf. the different notion of information and representation favored by Sterelny et. al. 1996).
Transgenerational heredity of DNA methylation has been observed in unicellular organisms, plants, and mammals, suggesting that transgenerational epigenetic inheritance may be more prevalent than often suspected (Jablonka & Raz 2009). (2) Hereditary effects that by-pass the germline, for example through early developmental inputs that lead to regeneration of previous developmental conditions (e.g., hormonal and neural conditions) and other forms of phenotypic transmission, such as the transmission of symbionts and parasites, e.g., gut bacteria (Jablonka & Raz 2009).
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Transgenerational heredity of DNA methylation has been observed in unicellular organisms plants and mammals suggesting that transgenerational epigenetic inheritance may be more prevalent than often suspected Jablonka Raz 2009 2 Hereditary effects that by-pass the germline for example through early developmental inputs that lead to regeneration of previous developmental conditions eg hormonal and neural conditions and other forms of phenotypic transmission such as the transmission of symbionts and parasites eg gut bacteria Jablonka Raz 2009