Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Transgenetic Epigenetic Inheritance

Thanks to Vox Day, I found out about transgenetic epigenetic inheritance today. Apparently, our choices can cause changes in us which can be passed on to our children, which seriously messes with evolutionary psychology right off the bat, and could take quite a chunk out of the traditional model of evolution.

Unfortunately, I doubt anyone will notice. This is one conversation I practically hate having, because even relatively nice people will get that look of pure arrogance on their face, mainly because they don't realize the evolution course they took last year has very little to do with the course they gave ten years ago.

In short, new science tends to contradict, not validate the stuff they used to say. So, it's pretty hard arguing with a moving target on the one side, and a bunch of literalists on the other. Darwin's theories, like most of the theories the left subscribes to, are actually much too simple, too static, to explain very much. One must take a very narrow view. It may be of some use in a lab, but it's not very helpful as an explanation of anything else.

Evolution has become the anthropological equivalent of there be dragons here. If you don't know, say it's evolutionary, even if it's patently obvious it's not. If you've ever heard an evolutionary psychologist argue about suicide or homosexuality, you'll understand what I mean there. These guys have actually done some interesting work- largely with groups, but they can really go nuts trying to prove deviant behavior is driven by evolution and is therefore normal, despite the fact it's obvious these behaviors are evolutionary dead ends.

And now, this transgenetic epigenetic inheritance stuff comes round, looking for all the world like the biological analogue to good old-fashioned morality...

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