Evolution Of A Scientific Revolution

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Every major theme of science is built upon a foundation where later discoveries become building blocks upon the foundation. Every once in a while, an idea that is more accurate will arise, and it will create a scientific revolution and replace the foundation so that a new “structure” can be built. This kind of paradigm shift has occurred numerous times in history and many speculate it will happen again as more scientists research epigenetics. This theory takes root in the idea that change in gene expression (not the gene itself) can be triggered by external forces (i.e. environment), and said change can be inherited. Although many argue that epigenetics will cause a scientific revolution as the antithesis to Darwinian evolution, people are not taking into account that it can be integrated into the current framework. Research by Heijmans et al., Skinner et al., and Joubert et al. have shown that change in gene expression (also referred to as epigenetic mutation) is not only a crucial facet of evolution, but is also similar to genetic mutation and thus able to work in tandem with Darwinian evolution.
Historical Roots
Epigenetics is reminiscent of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s theory of evolution and its mechanisms; Lamarck believed that organisms are able to acquire traits during their lives and pass them to their offspring. One key example that is commonly used is the idea of a giraffe stretching its neck to reach leaves found higher on a tree; the giraffe then passes the longer
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