Epigenetics may play an important role in addiction and depression. Or, we hope, in fighting them.
At New Scientist: “Subsequent studies in plants and animals suggest that epigenetic inheritance is more common than anyone had expected. Whatʼs more, compared with genetic inheritance, it has some big advantages. Environments can change rapidly and dramatically, but genetic mutations are random, so often require generations to take hold.” Just think, within a few years, genetics might start to make some sense.
You’ve got to hand it to the New Scientist gang; when they rethink, they really do.
Or is it epigenetics? At Science: “But even if the discovery is confirmed, Peng says he is leery of calling the modified adenine an addition to the genetic code. ‘Maybe [part] of the ‘epigenetic code’ instead?'”
That’s the claim at RealClearScience and, wouldn’t you know, Darwin doubters are supposedly to blame.
Of course. Michael Skinner, a Washington State U biology prof, makes good sense. But no, nothing happens. Too many fossils in Darwin world now. They just want dusting off now and then. And, in a world of change, they also expect things to continue that way…
Raised cortisol levels have been found in children separated from family for thirty or more hours a week, especially those in substandard care.
Layers on layers, systems on systems. Puts one in mind of Darwin’s Warm Little Pond, doesn’t it? Legacy science media should ramp up those Pond graphics. And keep the speculation about random events accidentally producing life coming. Speculate HARDER!
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.