Looking past the tabloid prose, they say they found that selection can occur at the level of the epigenome. So what becomes of neo-Darwinism if selection isn’t tied to the all-powerful but accidental gene?
To the extent that the Darwin-in-the-schools lobby permits the discussion of epigenetics, we can be reasonably sure they restrict it to the narrower, less threatening sense. And what better stronghold for Darwinism than the public school, which all taxpayers are forced to fund and most parents obliged to send their kids to?
If epigenetic treatment holds up, was Lamarck still as wrong as generations of Darwinists made him out to be?
Why the sea is boiling hot: It’s not just that Darwinian evolution is not being demonstrated to any degree but that a lot of NON-Darwinian evolution IS being demonstrated.
From the release: “Our findings suggest that epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, that are established in the brain during fetal or early postnatal life, play a major role in determining individual propensity for exercise,” Waterland said.
Soldier ants can be reprogrammed for up to five days after emergence as adults.
Why do the epigenetic changes last only a few generations? Hmmm. Well, if life, in general, exists by design and not by chance, many adaptations may only be intended to last a few generations. Environments constantly change, after all, and a requirement that all patterns be locked in could be a road to extinction.
Epigenetics is harder to study in humans because human development takes a long time and researchers are not allowed to do the things to humans that they can do to animals. The amount of information about epigenetic changes inherited by humans is likely to grow over time though.
Not from Darwinism? A technique to reveal cells’ epigenetic features is detailed
If the Weismann barrier is broken, that’s barbarians at the gates of textbook Darwinism, no? It turns out, all sorts of sources can contribute to inheritance.
Release: “Until just a decade ago, the idea of epigenetic inheritance would have made Greer an object of scientific ridicule. … The prevailing evolutionary dogma has been natural selection, as put forth by Darwin…
The main thing we’re learning these days is that epigenetics is much more important than we used to think. Which means that purely Darwinian evolution must be much less so.
The memory only lasted about five generations but the fact that it happens at all is significant. … It might help in understanding why many families seem to replay “addiction tapes” into the third and fourth generation.
Talbott: Not that the gene sequences are themselves mutated in the usual sense. Rather, the researchers found that various epigenetic modifications in the hippocampus alter the way the genes work (Weaver et al. 2004).
If this trait turns out to be widespread, it may help explain some puzzling aspects of animal behavior: specifically, how animals that are definitely not able to learn much individually appear to know things.