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US paperback
Jun 1998
Lamarck's Signature
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Perseus Books
Lamarck's Signature
by Edward J. Steele, Robyn A. Lindley, & Robert V. Blanden
Molecular biology's challenge to the traditionally accepted genetic mechanism of evolution, which states that, apart from rare random mutations, genes are inherited unchanged from parents. In particular changes acquired by the body cells during life are not passed on. Growing evidence from molecular biology indicates, however, that aspects of immunity developed by parents in their own lifetime can be passed on to their offspring. (My own suspicion is that the conditions being misinterpreted as viral AIDS infections will be found one day to be a part of a similar mechanism--but that's another story.) So even if it doesn't work at the level of giraffe's necks or a bodybuilder's muscles, perhaps Lamarck wasn't entirely wrong after all.
"It will represent, indeed, one of the landmarks in the history of biology. I have no idea what the outcome will be, but I hope Steele is right."
     -- Sir Peter Medawar

"If the work of Ted Steele and his colleagues . . . is correct, then the immune system is violating one of the central tenets of modern Darwinian evolutionary theory."
     -- New Scientist

"It has been a dogged effort, punctuated by bruising encounters with the British scientific establishment . . . twenty years of single-minded research seems finally to have paid off for Ted Steele."
     -- The Australian

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