The Elements of Evolution (41) Inheritance & Evolution

Inheritance & Evolution

The chemical differences among various species and genera of animals and plants are certainly as significant for the history of their origins as the differences in form. ~ Ray Lankester in 1880

Physically, inheritance from one generation to the next occurs in at least 3 ways: 1) genetically, 2) epigenetically, and 3) commensally (microbiotic transfer, from mother to offspring). While genetic transfer is the nominal inheritance route, many traits are passed on epigenetically. Roundworms inherit longevity without any genetic mutations that could confer that capability.