That’s a good thing but never a sure one:
While most epigenetic information is erased and reprogrammed before it can be passed on to offspring, some epigenetic information may escape erasure and may thus be passed on to an individual’s children (and potentially to subsequent generations). In mammals, there are at least two main periods of demethylation and remethylation — once during the development of germ cells (the precursor cells that will become sperm and eggs), and once in the earliest stages of an embryo’s development. During demethylation, ancestral methylation patterns (key epigenetic marks) are almost completely erased. The regions that are not demethylated may represent “hot spots of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance,” according to a 2019 research review on epigenetic regulation by Wang et al. It’s important to note that there has not yet been clear evidence in humans of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, and that the topic of how transgenerational epigenetic inheritance might work in humans is highly debated.Kristen Hovet, “4 things to know about epigenetics, including that most changes are not passed on to offspring” at Genetic Literacy Project
Well, 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.
Incidentally, several commenters here seem not to understand why epigenetic change and horizontal gene transfer are not Darwinian evolution. They seem to think that Darwinism just means “evolution.” It does not. Darwinism, as understood today (neo-Darwinism) is natural selection acting on random mutations of a life form’s genome. Epigenetics is non-random change due to identifiable causes. Horizontal gene transfer is the successful absorption of alien genes, not changes in the existing genes. But, for whatever reason, we don’t expect the misunderstandings to clear up any time soon.
See also: Epigenetic Learning Appears Confirmed In Nematodes Weismann Barrier Broken
Paper: Sperm Cells Take Up Genetic Material From Outside Themselves
Did you know that much of the diversity of the human brain results from epigenetics
Epigenetic change: Lamarck, wake up, you’re wanted in the conference room!
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