Mutationism, not Lamarckism, captures the novelty of CRISPR–Cas

Jeremy G. Wideman, S. Andrew Inkpen, W. Ford Doolittle, Rosemary J. Redfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Koonin, in an article in this issue, claims that CRISPR–Cas systems are mechanisms for the inheritance of acquired adaptive characteristics, and that the operation of such systems comprises a “Lamarckian mode of evolution.” We argue that viewing the CRISPR–Cas mechanism as facilitating a form of “directed mutation” more accurately represents how the system behaves and the history of neoDarwinian thinking, and is to be preferred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12
JournalBiology and Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • CRISPR–Cas
  • Directed mutation
  • Evolution
  • Lamarckian
  • Mutationism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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