Bridges between Development and Evolution

Eva Jablonka*, Marion J. Lamb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adaptive evolution is usually assumed to be directed by selective processes, development by instructive processes; evolution involves random genetic changes, development involves induced epigenetic changes. However, these distinctions are no longer unequivocal. Selection of genetic changes is a normal part of development in some organisms, and through the epigenetic system external factors can induce selectable heritable variations. Incorporating the effects of instructive processes into evolutionary thinking alters ideas about the way environmental changes lead to evolutionary change, and about the interplay between genetic and epigenetic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalBiology and Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Acquired characters
  • Epigenetic inheritance
  • Induced variation
  • Lamarckism


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