[LINK] Lamarck Was Right?
Mon, 25 Mar 2002 12:09:08 +1100
>A bit of silliness to start the week ... a "cyberculture"
>expert has discovered that heavy Game Boy users have more
>dexterous thumbs than the rest of us:
>>Use of hand-held technologies, such as
>mobile phones, GameBoys and
>>caused a physical mutation in the under-25s, according to new
Ofcourse the Observer has a reputation for publishing peer reviewed
The article need not be incorrect though, depending on the
interpretation of the word mutation. Dictionary.org says:
The act or process of being altered or changed.
An alteration or change, as in nature, form, or quality.
The word 'genetic' was omitted in the news article, and mutation in
itselfe need not mean a genetic mutation, it can merely mean that a
change has occurred.
What I read from the article is that training the thumb leads to a more
dexterous thumb. There has been a mutation, or change, in these people
because their thumbs are more dexterous than the thumbs of their peers.
But I do not read that their thumb training has led to a genetic
mutation that will transmit to their children. That would require a lot
more research than six months of collecting data.
I'd take any scientific news reported in a newspaper with a grain of
salt; newspapers tend to be highly inaccurate, focussing on the
spectacular, in their science reporting.