There’s this game called Minecraft (oh, have you heard of it?) which is a kind of world-builder game — you gather resources like wood and ore and meat, and you craft stuff out of it. I’ve learned something odd about it.
You gather wool from sheep. You can make colored wool with dyes.
Nice revelation: you can dye whole sheep and harvest colored wool from them. That was unexpected: it grows back in the color you dyed it. That’s not physiological!
And then…if you dye a sheep and then breed it to produce more sheep, the color breeds true. Dye two sheep lime green, and you can generate a whole flock of lime green sheep.
I don’t know whether to be appalled or delighted. It opens the door to exploring rules of Lamarckian inheritance, except there doesn’t seem to be any room for any kind of selection or predation or variation in anything that affects survival or reproduction. Someone tell the game makers to get a biologist as a consultant, there are possibilities here!
(I hear I can breed wolves, too, but I haven’t tried it. Do they vary in any interesting ways? Can I select for sheep-eating wolves?)