The origins of the idea to write this book are impossible to trace. What I can say with some certainty, is that the book would not have emerged without the pleasing interplay of two contingent pleasures which occurred in the summer of 1978. The first was the penetrating sense of awe experienced when I finished reading Koestler's recent book' Janus A Summing Up', 1978. His philosophy provided that necessary inspiration to tackle, in a rational way, a long held dissatisfaction with the . conven tional Darwinian explanation of evolution. The second was the more subliminal pleasure of camping and exploring that beautiful panorama of the lake district of Northern Ontario. The book, written in an argumentative style, reviews the case for the inheritance of acquired characteristics and proposes a simple, feasible mechanism to drive this process. It is written from the narrow perspective of an experimental Immunologist with an interest in the evolution of multicellular organisms. Much attention is given to current ideas in Immunology, and at times we dive deeply into its heartland to grasp those threads relevant to a general theory of evolution. In these excursions, I take pains not to lose the general reader (although I run the risk of annoying some Immunologists), I do this so that the argument is understood by Biologists as a whole. This narrow approach path, however, eliminates areas of interest to some Biologists, e. g.
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Table of Contents1. The Problem and the Purpose.- Notes.- 2. Lamarck in Perspective.- Notes.- 3. The Central Paradox of Immunology.- The Cell Involved.- The Response to the Unexpected.- Antibody Diversity at the Molecular Level.- 1) Idiotypes.- 2) Allotypes & Isotypes.- Antibody Diversity at the Cellular Level.- Nature versus Nurture.- (a) The Myeloma Process is Non-Stochastic.- (b) Amino Acid Sequence Comparisons.- (c) RNA-DNA Hybridization.- (d) Mouse VK Germline Genes.- (e) Recapitulation.- The Problem with Rabbit Idiotypy.- Notes.- 4. The Somatic Selection Hypothesis.- The Tacit Constraints.- Somatic Ordering of Genetic Mutations.- Flow of Genetic Information in Living Systems.- Recapitulation.- Parallel Evolution 40 A Prototype Experimental Plan in the Immune System.- Rabbit Idiotypy Revisited.- Summary of the Hypothesis.- Notes.- 5. Implications and Conclusions.- Boundaries, Difficulties, Corollaries.- Implications for Immunology.- (a) Quality of Germline V Genes.- (b) Quantity of Germline V Genes.- (c) Reevaluation of the Episome Insertion Model.- High Rates of Spontaneous Mutation.- (a) The Sickle-Cell Trait and Resistance to Malaria.- (b) High Spontaneous Mutation Rates in The Mouse H-2 Complex.- (c) Male Recombination in Drosophila.- (d) Summary.- Parallel Evolution and Jerne’s Hypothesis.- The Phenomenon of Regression.- Inheritance of Acquired Autoimmune Disease?.- Experiments of Guyer and Smith.- The Endogenous Vector.- Emergence and Extinction.- Notes.- 6. Speculations on Man, Mind and Matter.- The Genetic Future of Man.- The Growth of Knowledge.- Downward Causation.- Notes.- Appendix: On the Relevance of the RNA Tumor Viruses to the Somatic Selection Hypothesis.- Exchange of Genes between Viruses and Cellular DNA.- (a) Capture of Host Cellular RNA Molecules Not Covalently Linked to Viral RNA.- (b) Covalent Capture and Transduction of Host Cellular Gene Sequences.- Speculation on Gene Selection and Integration.