Home » Epigenetics, News » From Discover Magazine: DNA Is Not Destiny – but why isn’t the news getting out?

From Discover Magazine: DNA Is Not Destiny – but why isn’t the news getting out?

In “The new science of epigenetics rewrites the rules of disease, heredity, and identity,” Ethan Watters writes,

The even greater surprise is the recent discovery that epigenetic signals from the environment can be passed on from one generation to the next, sometimes for several generations, without changing a single gene sequence. It’s well established, of course, that environmental effects like radiation, which alter the genetic sequences in a sex cell’s DNA, can leave a mark on subsequent generations. Likewise, it’s known that the environment in a mother’s womb can alter the development of a fetus. What’s eye-opening is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the epigenetic changes wrought by one’s diet, behavior, or surroundings can work their way into the germ line and echo far into the future. Put simply, and as bizarre as it may sound, what you eat or smoke today could affect the health and behavior of your great-grandchildren.

All of these discoveries are shaking the modern biological and social certainties about genetics and identity. We commonly accept the notion that through our DNA we are destined to have particular body shapes, personalities, and diseases. Some scholars even contend that the genetic code predetermines intelligence and is the root cause of many social ills, including poverty, crime, and violence. “Gene as fate” has become conventional wisdom. Through the study of epigenetics, that notion at last may be proved outdated. Suddenly, for better or worse, we appear to have a measure of control over our genetic legacy.

He wrote that over five years ago (November 2006) and we have heard remarkably little discussion since then about how epigenetics impacts (wastes) neo-Darwinism.

Just an accident?

Or do far more Darwin tenure bores have to retire before honest discussions can happen?

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allan at Brains on Purpose

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4 Responses to From Discover Magazine: DNA Is Not Destiny – but why isn’t the news getting out?

  1. Actually ‘genetic reductionism’, as Dr Jones calls it, has been known to be wrong for over 50 years. Dr. Arthur Jones relates the story behind the falsification of genetic reductionism in the year 1954 at the 56 minute mark of this following video:

    Fish, Fossils and Evolution – Arthur Jones – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/video/14

    Yet since Darwinism itself is based on reductive materialism, then this evidence, just like all other evidence contrary to neo-Darwinism, was simply ignored or rationalized away, and the completely inadequate reductive materialistic foundation of neo-Darwinism lived on and was never honestly dealt with, though there are some recent papers that indicate that many researchers are starting to realize how profound this problem is for neo-Darwinism;

  2. Epigenetics = death knell for neo-Darwinism.

    Ordered The Mysterious Epigenome a couple days back, looking forward to reading it.

  3. OT:

    Cuttlefish have high definition polarization vision, researchers discover
    Excerpt: Cuttlefish have the most acute polarization vision yet found in any animal, researchers at the University of Bristol have discovered by showing them movies on a modified LCD computer screen to test their eyesight.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....ision.html

    Of note:

    Flamboyant Cuttlefish Flashing lembeh Sulewasi.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIwjKcrxOO

    NOVA | Kings of Camouflage | Meet the Cuttlefish | PBS – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x-8v1mxpR0

  4. Not sure were else to post this so..

    What has been the Evolutionists response to the paradigm shifting discovery of epigenetics thus far?

    Has it been addressed on any serious level yet?

    How does random mutation / natural selection account for an epigenome that operates and governs from a position outside of DNA throughout the cell.

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