Re: [xmca] Lamarckian

From: <mark who-is-at>
Date: Fri Oct 26 2007 - 01:58:58 PDT

I will look this one up!

Thanks Andy

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andy Blunden" <>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 5:10 PM
Subject: Re: [xmca] Lamarckian

> Mark, have a read of Merlin Donald's "Origins of the Modern Mind" for
> thoughts on the place of tools in Darwinism.
> Andy
> At 03:55 PM 26/10/2007 +0900, you wrote:
>>I discovered a very small yet, very enlightening piece of information
>>today while reading Cultural Psychology A Once and Future Discipline. In
>>Chapter 7 p. 178 part 2, Cole writes that Phylogenetic (Darwinism) change
>>and cultural-historical (Lamarckian) change occur at different rates.
>>I graduated from York University in Toronto, Canada with two degrees, in
>>Chemistry and in Biology, specializing in genetics and biochemistry. I am
>>no stranger to Darwinism, and I was not a fan of Lamarckian. My thinking
>>at that time was that natural selection 'survival of the fittest' or as
>>Gould wrote, 'the survival of the most adapted' was based on Darwin's
>>theory of evolution and our creation of tools such as computers was to
>>compensate for our own inability to genetically pass on our own acquired
>>knowledge. Lamarckian theories to us geneticists was nothing more to us
>>than a disproved theory that acquired knowledge could be passed on
>>genetically. We all knew that the study of our ancestry through genetics
>>could be done by examining the development of the fetus as it passes
>>through the various stages of growth. Each stage of growth represented the
>>past of our genetics.
>>This of course brings into arguments such as the recent comments from the
>>discoverer of the DNA helix, as Gould points out in his book Before Darwin
>>(sorry the date of that book escapes me at this point), one of the quotes
>>is in Cole's book p.18. There were actually 2 quotes in Gould's book about
>>the genetic history of the races and they were both on opposite ends of
>>the spectrum.
>>My initial reaction to Cole's comment on p. 179 was one of surprise, since
>>I had never thought that of Lamarck in that light. It cleared up the
>>cultural-historical picture for me. But on the other hand, that the change
>>between genetic and cultural-historical occur at different rates is of
>>course true, but unlike other species, we can produce the tools to
>>genetically share our DNA's information (i.e. our research, our thinking).
>>It's hard to imagine if one influences the other vs if one is a result of
>>the other. I would think that the sum of the genetic make up of our
>>being - influences the tools we make to extend our DNA outward in the
>>Lamarckian sense. How we use those tools culturally I don't think has any
>>bearing on our genetic development (at least not in the short term).
>>Phylogenetic change has directly influenced our cultural-historical
>>changes, but I think the tools that have had the most effect on our
>>development are the ones which have allowed collaboration to occur. I
>>think Lamarckian may have more influence on what happens next culturally.
>>And at a much faster rate. Our external DNA is becoming more complicated!
>>Am I on the right track here? If so, I think I'm beginning to understand
>>Vygotsky just a little bit more.
>>xmca mailing list
> Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
> mobile 0409 358 651
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Received on Fri Oct 26 02:06 PDT 2007

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