→ 05 Dec 13 at 5 pm
The linked article is over 5,000 words long, but fascinating. It’s basically arguing that gene expression and genetic accommodation, are the primary mechanisms at work in changes in phenotypes and natural selection. And that these ideas have been around for a while, but because people like Dawkins (who thankfully it acknowledges is a buffoon, although Dobbs is far kinder to him than I would be) won’t talk about it, it hasn’t gained any traction in the popular imagination. It took me a bit to get through, but I thought it was fascinating; it’s also distilling some complicated scientific thought down to one article, i have no background in it. I’d love to know what those of you with science degrees (and/or careers, etc.) think of it.
This idea is really popular in research these days- epigenetics! Basically, it’s changes to gene expression that don’t involve changes to the gene itself. Different environmental factors will make the DNA coil up tighter or looser, allowing access to certain genes. These patterns of coiling can then get passed down. For example, famine in the Netherlands and Sweden had reaching effects on grandchildren of those who experienced the famine but had never been malnourished themselves.
Check out this article called The Science of Epigenetics: