A pioneering proposal for a pluralistic extension of evolutionary theory, now updated to reflect the most recent research
This updated edition of the widely read Evolution in Four Dimensions has been revised to reflect the spate of new discoveries in biology since the book was first published in 2005, offering corrections, an updated bibliography, and a substantial new chapter. Eva Jablonka and Marion Lamb's pioneering argument proposes that there is more to heredity than genes.
They describe 4 “dimensions” in heredity—4 inheritance systems that play a role in evolution which, they argue, can all provide variations on which natural selection can act:
epigenetic (or non-DNA cellular transmission of traits)
symbolic (transmission through language and other forms of symbolic communication)
Jablonka and Lamb present a richer, more complex view of evolution than that offered by the gene-based Modern Synthesis, arguing that induced and acquired changes also play a role. Their lucid and accessible text is accompanied by artist-physician Anna Zeligowski's lively drawings, which humorously and effectively illustrate the authors' points.
Each chapter ends with a dialogue in which the authors refine their arguments against the vigorous skepticism of the fictional “I.M.” (for Ipcha Mistabra—Aramaic for “the opposite conjecture”). The extensive new chapter, presented engagingly as a dialogue with I.M., updates the information on each of the 4 dimensions—with special attention to the epigenetic, where there has been an explosion of new research.