The Elements of Evolution (40-6) Baldwin Effect

Baldwin Effect

In 1896, American psychologist James Baldwin suggested that learned behavior can affect evolution: a Lamarckian-like effect that was long ignored. Only the discovery of epigenetics in the late 20th century opened the door for the Baldwin effect to be taken seriously by most evolutionary biologists.

The development of lactose intolerance in human populations with a tradition of dairy farming is a commonly cited example of the Baldwin effect.

Parenting exemplifies the Baldwin effect, which house finches illustrate.