But what if this memory retention applied for more than just our conscious memory and fears? What if this extended to things like memory of our surroundings? Memories of our struggles and our successes.
I'm not sure of his exact words, but part of Darwin's theory of evolution included random changes, or mutations, that are passed down from generation to generation. If DNA can pass down memories of events which cause fear, why can't it pass down memories of surroundings or difficulties that cause physical changes? These physical changes would no longer be random, they would be a decision made by our DNA which is fueled by knowledge and memories from that DNA.
Prior to recent history, where global travel is so simple, people have had light or dark skin depending on their geographical location. Their minds could be saying "There's a lot of sun here, and my skin keeps getting burned. Maybe I will be more protected if my skin is darker." and that causes the DNA to make the skin darker in the next generation. Then the next generation says "My skin is still getting burned! Maybe I need to keep making it darker, and maybe also make it thicker to be more resistant." and so on, until a good balance is found generations later.
On the other hand, someone in places like northern Canada, or Russia, or Alaska, which have a lot of snow, might be thinking the opposite. "There's a lot of snow here. If my skin, hair, and eyes were lighter I would be able to blend in to my surroundings more and would have an easier time hiding from all of these wolfs and such." So throughout the generations their skin becomes lighter, their hair approaches a blonde color, and their eyes become more like a blue color. All of which are lighter, and therefore harder to see in that environment.
Darwin's finches could have gone through a similar process. "I can't reach inside that flower, but if my beak were longer I could do it!"
There's also a lot of research that states that our subconscious mind is a lot more powerful than our conscious mind, and that our subconscious mind has more control over our actions than our conscious mind. So maybe our subconscious is passing these messages to the DNA without us even consciously thinking those thoughts.
When we reproduce, there may be two conflicting memories from the parents of the offspring. One says "It's sunny so I need to be darker" and the other says "There's a lot of snow so I need to blend in."
Maybe, in the first generation, these two conflicting thoughts go back and forth until one wins, and the outcome is a child with darker skin, hair, and eyes. And then maybe when that second generation reproduces, the older memory surfaces with the new memory still there, and realizes, "Things were better when my skin was lighter, so let's try that again. But the dark hair helped, so let's keep the dark hair with the lighter skin."
Or maybe the conflict results in a compromise right from the beginning, resulting in darker skin and lighter hair on the second generation. Or maybe the first generation couple has multiple children, and the DNA in the first child says "Let's try darker", the second says "Let's try lighter", and the third says "Lighter hair, darker skin", and the fourth says "Darker hair lighter skin", and so on from conflicting memories, not from random chance.
Bottom line, I think this new finding has a lot more impact than scientists currently realize. I'm no scientist, but I am very educated and have an uncanny ability to make links that others don't always see. I think this is a real possibility, and it would explain evolution even further.