Epigenetics is Mainly Pop Science Bunk


Yet another journalist seems to have fallen for the epigenetics mavens: those revisionists who think that a form of Lamarckian inheritance can be important in evolution. These people claim that the environment itself directly changes the DNA, not by altering the sequences of bases, but by somehow placing methyl groups on some of the DNA bases (“methylation”). Such changes can be passed on to the next generation, and so the revisionists (aka “careerists”) argue that the inherited epigenetic changes could be subject to natural selection, leading to a form of evolutionary change that is, roughly, the inheritance of acquired characters. Continue reading