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Epigenetics

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Description: Bogus or just twisted
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coenie777
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« on: December 04, 2010, 22:42:03 PM »

I downloaded a video some time ago on this subject and did not really had a good look at it till now. Epigenetics attempt to explain things like why the placebo effect works on illness, how you can alter cancer development by changing the way you think, why identical twins may have one develop cancer and the other not. Effectively it boils down to the fact that your genetic make up is only a 35% contributor to your state of health, the rest is driven by thought patterns, diet etc.

On face value I dismissed it but then Googled it and now wonder if there may not be something new here. It may be that the "energy healers" etc are miss quoting research in this area very much like the homeopathy people jump on any new discoveries about the properties of water.

Does anyone here have more knowledge on this subject, maybe you have already debunked this and can save me a lot of time by getting to the punch line.
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Lurkie
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 12:25:28 PM »

My layman's opinion is that the original problem is far more complex than originally thought. Here's a very nice critique on epigenetics: http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/article_detail.asp?id=570&css=print

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coenie777
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010, 21:40:46 PM »

Nice read Lurkie, thanks  Wink

It is clear that this subject is going to be misused by religious types similarly to the way quantum physics has and is being miss quoted, and things added on to that is not part of the original intent or truth.

I do still think that this subject requires some thought from a scientific point of view since it appears to be a new definition of what we know about genetics.

The mentioned article sums it up nicely when it said:

"The hopeful thing is that molecular biologists today — slowly but surely, and perhaps despite themselves — are increasingly being driven to enlarge their understanding through a reckoning with genetic contexts. As a result, they are writing “finis” to the misbegotten hope for a non-­lifelike foundation of life, even if the fact hasn’t yet been widely announced."

Now to still just find some more supporting references for all these inferences that I have made so far  Smiley
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Lurkie
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2010, 20:33:18 PM »

A pleasure, Coenie777.

And I reckon you're right. Cretin, I mean creationists and their ID buddies could (deliberately) misinterpret these developments, brand the Genome project a failure and use this as "further" evidence against evolution. For example:

Quote
One by one every seemingly reliable and predictable “molecular mechanism” has been caught deviating from its “program” and submitting instead to the fluid life of its larger context.

As a scientist, this sentence thrills me deeply because there is a fascinating mystery to be solved. I shudder to think how the sky fairy believers and new-age mystics could abuse the phrases "fluid life" and "larger context".

On a different note. I'm going to ask a genetics buddy of mine to read the article and do a brief crit.

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coenie777
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2010, 23:50:18 PM »

Please keep this post in the know regarding the feedback you get from your geneticist buddy. I am not a scientist at all and after trying to "figure" out quantum physics on my own, I now leave the hard core opinions on these science matters to the scientists. As this subject becomes too complex, biological for me to comprehend on my present knowledge I would really appreciate your learned friends views as well.

Maybe someone knows a good lay person type book available on the subject (that was not written by those Cretins Lurkie talks about  Grin
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Lurkie
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 00:49:43 AM »

Coenie777, don't let quantum physics put you off science. Even Paul Dirac didn't like to describe this subject by means of analogies. Simply put, quantum physics is deeply unintuitive, even to physicists. Lots of credit goes to you for taking the energy and time to try and decipher the craziness that is quantum mechanics.

I really, really hope that this molecular biology problem can eventually be described by an analogy that a human can imagine.

I'll ask my buddy about a good book summarising molecular biology. Will ask Father Christmas for a copy!
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Watookal
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 10:11:00 AM »

I read The Biology of Belief by Bruce H Lipton some time ago. He feels it's the cell membranes that are the key to the magic. It was a good read, but if I remember correctly he did go on a bit about spiritualistic woo which soiled the matter enough that I won't recommend anyone reading it. One good thing I got out of it was a reference to H. Frederik Nijhout which in turn lead me to this website.
http://www.biology.duke.edu/nijhout/index.htm
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