Lamarckian ‘inheritance of acquired characteristics’
was dropped by the scientific community because it has never been experimentally verified. Has natural selection ever been experimentally verified? Has it ever even been proved that a specific random genetic mutation can lead to a specific beneficial biological advantage or even a specific trait? If a genetic mutation is admittedly neutral at the local level, then how does it become transformed into a biological advantage at the species level? Presumably the law of large numbers comes into play, and we assume that given enough time, these things just happen. Since no particular instance can be proven over such a large span of time, we simply invoke the most convenient logic, or in this case, the most scientific logic. Though ‘inheritance of acquired characteristics’ was dropped from the biologists’ lexicon, it’s never been dropped from the popular imagination. It would seem to be the ‘wishful thinking’ option, however, rendering it less scientific than the Darwinist rap. Still scientists talk about a species ‘adapting’ anagenetically, though this requires no mutation. Still human brains keep expanding in size with no apparent change in the DNA sequence, frequently invoking life’s challenges as explanation. Still we keep scanning the stars for radio signals, as if the exact same random genetic sequence might accidentally occur again. Certainly natural selection is not wrong, because it’s a tautology: those that survived were certainly the fittest. An impeccable scientific theory must be useful in making predictions, also, however. Just because it’s not wrong doesn’t mean that it’s right, nor does it mean that Lamarckism is wrong.