Fern Elsdon-Baker has written an article for New Scientist entitled Comment: The Dawkins dogma.
It begins with a description of the selfish gene and Darwinian orthodoxy as described by Richard Dawkins. All of this is about to change, according to Elsdon-Baker.
My excitement increased as I read on. Finally, New Scientist is about to wake up to the fact that random genetic drift—a non-Darwinian mechanism—plays an important role in evolution. At long last their readers are going to learn what evolutionary biologists have known for half a century.
No such luck. The challenge to the Richard Dawkins view of evolution comes from .... wait for it .... epigenetics and Lamarckian evolution!
Not only that, lateral gene transfer is toppling the tree of life at its roots.
Who is Fern Elsdon-Baker? She's identified in the by-line as, "Fern Elsdon-Baker is head of the British Council's Darwin Now project and author of The Selfish Genius, published this month."
Turns out she has recently (2006?) completed her Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science. Her thesis topic was,
Theories of inheritance in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries : The role of historiographical constraints on contemporary scientific research, with particular emphasis on the role of "Weismann's Barrier" in Darwinian and Neo-Darwinian debatesHer book, which is apparently an attack on Richard Dawkins will be published next week. It seems to be an extension of her thesis work, judging by the early reviews.
BTW, you can read one of these reviews of The Selfish Genius on the The Times website. It looks like her focus is on epigenetics and the inheritance of acquired characteristics. There's no indication from the review that she has clued into the adaptationist vs pluralist controversy that's been at the heart of most criticism of Dawkins for the past thirty years.
This seems strange for a person who just got a Ph.D. for studying evolutionary theory.
At least New Scientist had the good sense to identify the article as "comment." This should alert readers to take Elsdon-Baker's opinion with a large grain of salt. It looks very much like the article is part of a publicity campaign associated with the upcoming release of her book.
Move along folks. There's nothing new here. Modern (pluralist) evolutionary theory is not about to be overturned.