Friday, January 17, 2014

Oops, “Environmental Information May Be Inherited Transgenerationally”

More Incoming

Drug addictions and neuropsychiatric illnesses seem to recur in parents and their children in a cycle that is difficult to break. As neurobiologist Kerry Ressler explains “There are a lot of anecdotes to suggest that there’s intergenerational transfer of risk.” But until recently evolutionists denied—and actively persecuted scientists suggesting—any such thing. For evolutionary theory has traditionally viewed heritable changes as being strictly channeled through DNA and its chance mutations which are selected when they happen to improve fitness. Thus, according to modern evolutionary theory, all inherited change that ever occurs to a species is, ultimately, from a source that is random. Non random heritable change that might be directed or influenced by environmental challenges is not allowed. No teleology, no final causes, no design.

Those are the metaphysical ground rules. But for decades undeniable evidence has once again contradicted evolutionary dogma. There is no question that species respond rapidly to environmental challenges with non random change. One of the mechanisms, referred to as epigenetics, involves small chemical tags, such as methyl groups, attached to DNA or its histone packaging proteins. But as one science writer warned, “For some evolutionary biologists, just hearing the term epigenetics raises hackles.” Or as one evolutionist admitted, “The really heretical thing to say is that the environment could be pushing the epigenetic information in a direction that is beneficial … that raises the hackles.”

Aside from violating evolution’s ground rules against heritable directed change, otherwise known as the inheritance of acquired characteristics, epigenetics takes the unlikeliness of evolution to an entirely new level. We would have to believe that evolution’s undirected, random change somehow created an astonishingly complex adaptation machine. In short, we would have to believe the mother of all just-so stories, namely that “Not only has life evolved, but life has evolved to evolve.”

Not only do the sheer intricacies and interdependencies of epigenetics, and the lack of an evolutionary fitness pathway, rule out an evolutionary origin, but the violation of Occam’s Razor is colossal. We must believe that evolution created a profoundly complex machine which just happens to facilitate an entirely new form of adaptation. From a scientific perspective epigenetics reveals another absurdity of evolution.

And Ressler’s new study published last month demonstrating transgenerational inheritance of environmental information in mice—at behavioral, neuroanatomical and epigenetic levels—is just making it worse.

Ressler and postdoc Brian Dias exposed the mice simultaneously to electric shocks and a particular odor. Soon the odor alone caused abnormal behavioral responses. Next, they observed such abnormal behavioral responses in subsequent generations which had not been exposed to any electrical shocks. And this transgenerational inheritance occurred both via the mother and via the father.

Of course there is much more to learn, but this important research is yet another example of how evolution has held back scientific. Evolution did not motivate this research—quite the opposite. Consider how a science writer in a leading journal introduced the work:

According to convention, the genetic sequences contained in DNA are the only way to transmit biological information across generations. Random DNA mutations, when beneficial, enable organisms to adapt to changing conditions, but this process typically occurs slowly over many generations. Yet some studies have hinted that environmental factors can influence biology more rapidly through 'epigenetic' modifications, which alter the expression of genes, but not their actual nucleotide sequence.

Hinted? Sorry but evolutionary dogma notwithstanding, the rapid and directed heritable change in populations—the inheritance of acquired characteristics—has not merely been “hinted.” It is well established science no matter how much evolutionists push back.

But evolutionary dogma does push back against science, and this new study was met with the usual skepticism. One evolutionist is incredulous:

The claims they make are so extreme they kind of violate the principle that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Another evolutionist finds the claims to be unnerving:

It's pretty unnerving to think that our germ cells could be so plastic and dynamic in response to changes in the environment.

Extreme? Extraordinary? Unnerving? I guess so when you insist that the species, and everything else for that matter, must have arisen spontaneously.

Religion drives science, and it matters.


  1. What is even more troubling for neo-Darwinists is, not only that transgenerational changes are inherited apart from DNA (as troubling as that is for the central dogma),,,

    "One of the mechanisms, referred to as epigenetics, involves small chemical tags, such as methyl groups, attached to DNA or its histone packaging proteins."
    C. Hunter

    ,,,What is even more troubling for neo-Darwinists is that transgenerational changes can be environmentally induced all the way down to directly modifying the DNA of a genome,,

    Majority of mutations are directed (non-random) - Jonathan Bartlett - video

    Non-Random and Targeted Mutations (Environmentally induced changes to the level of DNA, 6:34 minute mark of video) - video

    An environmentally induced adaptive (?) insertion event inflax - 2009
    Excerpt:Genomic changes in flax induced by the environment include the sequences encoding the ribosoal RNAs , many repetitive sequence families and a novel single copy insertion termed LIS-1, comprising a 5.7 kilobase(kb) DNA fragment.,,,

    Environmentally Induced Heritable Changes in Flax - 2011
    Excerpt: Some flax varieties respond to nutrient stress by modifying their genome and these modifications can be inherited through many generations.

    Flax: More Falsifications of Evolution and the Real Warfare Thesis - Cornelius Hunter - 2011
    Excerpt: The latest paper deals with flax plants which, when grown under stressful conditions, modify their genome. The genomic changes help the plant to thrive under the new conditions, and the changes are passed on to the progeny. The flax plant’s genomic changes are not just a lucky strike—the same precise additions, in the same precise location, occur when the experiment is repeated. For the changes are “the result of a targeted, highly specific, complex insertion event.”

    This is a direct contradiction of the modern synthesis (central dogma) of neo-Darwinism,,

    Does the central dogma still stand? – Koonin EV. – 23 August 2012
    Excerpt: Thus, there is non-negligible flow of information from proteins to the genome in modern cells, in a direct violation of the Central Dogma of molecular biology. The prion-mediated heredity that violates the Central Dogma appears to be a specific, most radical manifestation of the widespread assimilation of protein (epigenetic) variation into genetic variation. The epigenetic variation precedes and facilitates genetic adaptation through a general ‘look-ahead effect’ of phenotypic mutations.,,,
    The Central Dogma of molecular biology is refuted by genetic assimilation of prion-dependent phenotypic heredity. This phenomenon is likely to be the tip of the proverbial iceberg,,,
    Even more generally, the entire spectrum of epigenetic variation, in particular various modifications of DNA, chromatin proteins and RNA, potentially can be similarly assimilated by evolving genomes.,,,

    How life changes itself: The Read–Write (RW) genome - James A. Shapiro - 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs).

    also see J.Shapiro, "Revisiting the Central Dogma", and D.Nobel, "Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology".


      The comments made by DWisker are hilarious in light of what we now know:

      "only a very tiny percentage (considerably less than 1%) of the non-coding (non-protein coding) DNA in the genome, including repeats) has been found to have any function whatsoever"


      "the vast majority of mutations are random with regard to fitness"


  2. Moreover, directly contrary to the materialistic assumption that we are merely helpless 'victims of our genes', victims who are forever trapped in whatever misfortune our genes happen to throw at us, it is now known that, besides environmental triggers producing epigenetic changes, mental states can also 'epigenetically' modify the expression of our genes, thus giving us a certain measure of control of our 'genetic fate':

    Genie In Your Genes – video

    Anxiety May Shorten Your Cell Life – July 12, 2012
    Excerpt: These studies had the advantage of large data sets involving thousands of participants.
    If the correlations remain robust in similar studies, it would indicate that mental states and lifestyle choices can produce epigenetic effects on our genes.

    Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes, - December 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,”,,,
    “Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,”,,,
    the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.

    The health benefits of happiness - Mark Easton - 2006
    Excerpt: "It's not just that if you're physically well you're likely to be happy but actually the opposite way round," said Dr Cox.
    (Extensive studies show that) "If you are happy you are (much more) likely in the future to have less in the way of physical illness than those who are unhappy".

    Verse, Video, and Music:

    Proverbs 17:22
    A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

    Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson: "Happy, Happy, Happy" - video

    With Every Act Of Love - Jason Gray

  3. "Not only do the sheer intricacies and interdependencies of epigenetics, and the lack of an evolutionary fitness pathway, rule out an evolutionary origin ..."

    J: Well, I would say that it doesn't so much "rule out" an evolutionary origin so much as it renders an evolutionary origin inexplicable. It's always been the case that no one could or can enumerate a sufficient number of a-plausible hypotheses to imply (i.e., explain) the posited lineages in the posited time-frame. UCA is not an explanatory hypothesis that explains current events any better (i.e., more parsimoniously, etc) than SA. Rather, it's merely an historical BELIEF, just as SA is. People just forget how many more a-plausible events and properties have to be posited to have occurred to limit the number of ancestors to ONE.