Exploring the Epigenetics of Ethnicity

(Albert Leo) #1

This paper http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/47975/title/Exploring-the-Epigenetics-of-Ethnicity/&utm_campaign=NEWSLETTER_TS_The-Scientist-Daily_2016&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=40530882&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_5MNlTWzRs-DuGjipJCLj4ya1FDr5DBIkctAmX41njWeJqIiEKNb3mmFMejDbooDWghGJn0p7QfZxkOKm9IKZY29CpBg&_hsmi=40530882 may be if interest to those of us concerned with the apparent randomness in Darwinian evolution. The following are several quotations from it:

“Methylation, which is the predominant epigenomic marker within our genomes, is like a fingerprint on our DNA that can be modified by both genetic ancestry and by the environment,”
“It’s an elegant work that addresses what I think is an important biomedical research question [on] the complex interplay between genetics and environmental exposures on individuals,”
Most researchers agree that individual epigenomes are partly inherited from our parents but can also change as a product of our environment. Starting with this premise, “we asked a simple question,” said Burchard. “What proportion of the variation in the epigenome, meaning the methylation pattern, can be explained by genetic ancestry or self-identified race/ethnicity?”

This is of special interest to me, since I am hung up on the idea that theistic evolution must incorporate some element of purpose, and not be as (apparently) random as Dawkins would have us believe. DNA methyltransferase may be the way God allows a bit of Lamarkian evolution (experience of a parent to be passed on to the genome of progeny) and thus add a little more meaning to human existence.
Al Leo

(George Brooks) #2


My dear brother … why are you troubled by Dawkins’ interpretation of the word Evolution, when he Excludes God from his interpretation?

Once you exclude God, you certainly have a new level of randomness… or shall we say a new level of a lack of intention!

When you and I use the term Evolution, how can it be ultimately random, if God is guiding it?

(Albert Leo) #3

George, too many young minds are drawn to science, thinking that they must follow wherever the evidence leads them, even if it leads to agnosticism. And many brilliant minds since Darwin (including a fair number of Nobel laureates) present evidence that heavily favors evolutionary randomness; ergo, humans are just an accidental twig on the Bush of Life. Contributors to this Forum who are true TEs must be sure that our arguments are not merely 'preaching to the choir."
Al Leo

(George Brooks) #4


I certainly agree with that. But I was making a definitional point.

Unless God is literally closing his eyes to his creation… God-guided evolution cannot be truly random, unintentional or meaningless.

So when an agnostic or atheistic scientist says Evolution is random, just say “That’s not true about the Evolutionary material I’ve been reading!”