Striving for clarity about the “Lamarckian” nature of CRISPR-Cas systems

Biology and Philosophy 34 (1):11 (2019)

Authors
Emily Parke
University of Auckland
Abstract
Koonin argues that CRISPR-Cas systems present the best-known case in point for Lamarckian evolution because they satisfy his proposed criteria for the specific inheritance of acquired adaptive characteristics. We see two interrelated issues with Koonin’s characterization of CRISPR-Cas systems as Lamarckian. First, at times he appears to confuse an account of the CRISPR-Cas system with an account of the mechanism it employs. We argue there is no evidence for the CRISPR-Cas system being “Lamarckian” in any sense. Second, it is unclear whether the mechanism is more “Lamarckian” than many other forms of genetic change already well-characterized in Darwinian terms. We present three conceptually distinct senses in which the mechanism of IAC may be considered Lamarckian and argue that only the strongest sense of goal-directed IAC would be difficult to accommodate in a Darwinian account. As the CRISPR-Cas mechanism does not qualify as “Lamarckian” in this strong sense, we argue there is no conceptual value in calling it “Lamarckian”. Finally, we suggest that CRISPR-Cas systems do hold the potential for genuinely non-Darwinian, directed evolution in a way that Koonin did not discuss, involving their potential use as a human gene-editing tool.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-018-9662-y
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,649
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is Cultural Evolution Lamarckian?Maria E. Kronfeldner - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):493-512.
“Editing”: A Productive Metaphor for Regulating CRISPR.Ben Merriman - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (12):62-64.
CRISPR Critters and CRISPR Cracks.R. Alta Charo & Henry T. Greely - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (12):11-17.
Nietzsche Was No Lamarckian.Maudemarie Clark - 2013 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 44 (2):282-296.
Is CRISPR an Ethical Game Changer?Marcus Schultz-Bergin - 2018 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31 (2):219-238.
CRISPR Becomes Clearer.Andrew W. Torrance - 2017 - Hastings Center Report 47 (5):5-6.
The Mechanism and Applications of CRISPR-Cas9.Paul Scherz - 2017 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 17 (1):29-36.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-02-11

Total views
15 ( #527,054 of 2,242,382 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
15 ( #57,114 of 2,242,382 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature