On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 , Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>> John Epigenetic changes do not change the sequence of bases in DNA, and
>> more important I see no evidence that the body has learned any lessons. I
>> see no evidence that epigenetic changes are more likely to happen in the
>> direction of greater adaptability rather than the reverse. All I see is the
>> environment causing random changes in hereditary factors that, like all
>> changes, are more likely to be harmful than helpful.
> > Sure, but then neither do random mutations to an organisms DNA, imply
> that the body has learned anything either.

Obviously, otherwise they wouldn't be called RANDOM mutations. I rather
doubt that epigenesis will turn out to be terribly important, at least not
when compared with traditional genetics, but even if I'm wrong it would
just mean that another chemical besides DNA is transferring genetic
information to the next generation. And none of that would bother Darwin in
the slightest because he knew nothing about either chemical and didn't need
to and his idea of Natural Selection would still brilliantly explain how
life got to be the way it is.

> The introduction of some random change is either harmful, beneficial or
> of little or no consequence

And Darwin's Natural Selection will separate those things out regardless of
if those random changes are made in DNA or in something else.

> What you say about epigenetic changes: "environment causing random
> changes in hereditary factors" applies as much to the classical hereditary
> mechanism of DNA changes.

Yes but random mutation is only half of Darwin's idea and the least
interesting half, the other half is Natural Selection.

  John K Clark

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