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The Epigenetic Caterpillar: An Alternative to the Neo-Darwinian view of the Peppered Moth Phenomenon

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by Maria B. O'Hare
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The Epigenetic Caterpillar: An Alternative to the Neo-Darwinian view of the Peppered Moth Phenomenon by Maria B. O'Hare

Industrial melanism of peppered moths is a famous case of what has often been described as: 'Darwinian evolution via selection in action'. This little book offers an alternative, yet light hearted approach, to this rather controversial topic, based upon the most recent and cutting-edge biological scientific discoveries of our present time. This alternative explanation gives us an insight into past evolutionary speciation (how one species becomes another) in real terms, hence the use of an epigenetic caterpillar analogy as a caterpillar via metamorphosis, turns into a butterfly: a distinctly different animal, yet, irrespective of whether it is in its caterpillar or a flying insect form, its genes remain identical. This is explicable by environmentally-driven epigenetic processes as it is the change in the expression of the genes that are triggered by the environment, which can cause a profound and rapid change in the species and these changes can be inherited. The genes themselves or the DNA sequence do not alter. Therefore, the epigenetics form of evolution is at complete odds with the Neo-Darwinian explanation of the cause of the variation seen in peppered moths and indeed, evolutionary change (speciation) in general, as epigenetic means that it operates above the genes, (the epigenetic caterpillar) and the really interesting part is that in principle, Charles Darwin would have agreed with this environmentally-driven epigenetic explanation.

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Ebook Details
Pages: 27
Size: 88 KB
Publisher: Dig-Press
Date published:   2014
ISBN: 9781311218070 (DRM-EPUB)

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