Recently, there has been a new field of study in biology called “epigenetics.” Epigenetics is what I like to view as a dash of hereditarian HBD with Liberal “attitude counts, nurture trumphs nature” ideology. I was having a conversation by email with blogger Robert Lindsay about nature versus nurtur, which caused me to remeber the long-forgotten hypothetical study of epigenetics.
BBC has recently aired a “scientific documentary” on epigenetics, which hints that this field may be getting some mainstream recognition. I personally believe that there is some sort of scientific basis to this epigenetics field. I will attempt to explain.
The human genome is made up of 24 Chromosomes; 22 autosomes, 1 X Chromosome, and 1 Y Chromosome; which are homologous sex chromosomes in human males. Human genomes on average have 3.1 billion base pairs of DNA, of which 2% acts as functional genes, which is about 20-24,000 genes, each gene with an average of 1,500 base pairs. A 18% of the human genome serves as repeating sequences of DNA which separate individual genes, for example, the telomeres, made up of repeating sequence TTAGGG. Another 80% are known to scientists as introns, which were once functional genes in the long extinct ancestors of humans, but no longer serve a purpose than to just sit there doing Jack Schidt.
Occasionally, exposure to a chemical or an extreme environmental circumstance will activate the intron, bringing the non-functioning gene to life. Several obesity and diabetes introns can be activated this way, as well as several cancer genes. On the flip side, an already functioning gene can become an intron.
The theory of epigenetics is; what if the change in functionality of genes can be inherited from parent to child? After all, our introns were once functional in distant ancestors, yet their non-functionality was inherited to us. Several obesity, cancer, antibody, and hormonal catalyst function has been observed to posess a certain degree of heredibility. What if we could make the next generation less obese by giving the current one a good workout? What if parents who study hard can have intelligent children?