But what I want to ask fits nicely with the other thread on evolution.
BorisB alluded to an idea of his he calls “giraffe neck stretching”. My question is this: is there a mechanism which transfers physical characteristics acquired or modified after birth to the genes in the sex cells of the individual (or any cells for that matter)? In other words, take the precursor to a giraffe. Looks like a horse, kinda long neck-maybe a yard. Now, over this animal’s lifetime, through craning and stretching its neck, the neck grows to 4.5 feet. Now, if my understanding is correct, the animal’s genes were programmed to grow a neck of 3 feet. Through physical conditioning, the neck muscles/tissue/skin have grown another 1.5 ft. Will the genes this animal pass on be programmed to grow a neck of, say, 4 ft.? And if so, how are the original genes modified by the physical conditioning?
And the problem with small furry animals
in corners is that, just occasionally,
one of them’s a mongoose.
Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad