LERN Debate 2010- resuscitating Lamarck: do we need a new evolutionary theory?

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Resuscitating Lamarck: Do we need a new evolutionary theory?

The issue of epigenetics has sparked some discussion about the mechanisms by which evolutionary change arises. Some scientists believe that epigenesis has been an important factor in evolution, and propose a reformulation of the evolutionary theory as we know it, while others do not see epigenesis as a mechanism by which permanent adaptive changes can occur, and thus do not consider the evidence compelling enough to warrant rethinking the tenets of neo-Darwinism.

We at the London Evolutionary Research Network think this is a fascinating topic, and we are pleased to announce our forthcoming debate.

Four eminent speakers in the field will be discussing the motion:

‘Epigenetic inheritance compels an extension of the Modern Synthesis’

Eva Jablonka (for)
Professor at the Cohn Institute for the History of Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Troy Day (for)
Professor in Mathematical Biology, Queen’s University, Canada

Vincent Colot (against)
Group Leader at the Unité de Biologie Moléculaire des Organismes Photosynthétiques, Ecole Normale Supérieure, France

Ben Dickins (against)
Postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics, Penn State University, USA

This is the second debate hosted by LERN. Each speaker will get 20 minutes to present their ideas followed by 10 minutes rebuttal time. There will be a substantial Q&A period at the end of the talks. Tea and biscuits will be served during a break. 

Date: 14th September 2010,

Time: 16.00 – 19.15

Location: AV Hill Lecture Theatre, Medical Sciences Building, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

[download event PDF here]

[download event schedule here]

The videos for the entire debate are now available to watch online.