Epigenetics? Eh…Pop Science Hype – Again


“The evidence that developmental plasticity derives from epigenetic markers on the DNA (methylated bases) rather than regulatory proteins interacting with genes is by no means widely accepted, for the evidence for epigenetic control is much weaker than for protein control.”

More denialism of biological determinism, duh.

There is absolutely no evidence for any Lamarckian form of evolution based on “epigenetic” markers on the DNA produced by the environment. Further speculations about this—and claims that it shows that the modern theory of evolution is wrong—are misguided and should be ignored pending some real evidence. 

Biologists now invoke epigenetics to explain all manner of observations that lie outside their current ken. Epigenetics pops up frequently among non-scientists in all manner of discussions about heredity. And all manner of crackpots slap “epigenetics” on their fringy ideas to give them a veneer of credibility. But epigenetics has achieved buzzword status far faster and to a far larger extent than current science justifies, earning the disdain of scientists (like me) who study how information is encoded, transferred and read out across cellular and organismal generations.


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