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Author Topic: Does Epigenetic diversity cause conflict in the human population?  (Read 1946 times)

Offline Airthumbs

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Is this why some people kill and some people care?

I thought it was instinctive to help and protect others but clearly that is not the case... It would be interesting to see if babies born during wartime are more inclined to join the Army or commit murder.  Does anyone know if there has been any studies on this type of thing?


 

Offline CliffordK

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I would think the interactions would be very complicated, not necessarily with epigenetics.

There are certainly some women who like boys in uniform.  Yet, war can also take the men away from raising a family, and perhaps displacing or removing them from the gene pool. 

But, at the same time, children might learn to look up to their parents with a military career.  And, for the rest of us, one hears about the war on the radio, or seeing it on the TV all the time.

Then, it may be up to the media on whether the war is portrayed as saving the world from the evil Hitler...  or a daily body count that is pure folly.

I must admit, that after centuries of war, and 2 major wars last century, Europe has somehow managed to break out of the cycle of war between European nations, and so far, have been good at settling their differences at the bargaining table. 

Now, if that would only work with the rest of the world.
 

Offline evan_au

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Much of human behaviour is a mixture of genetics and environment (or nature and nurture).

It has been found that different variants of some genes make people more or less sensitive to their environments. Some people tend to grow up pretty much emotionally the same, independent of their family behaviour. While people with other variants of the same gene can be very sensitive and caring (if they grew up in a caring environment), or violent (if their family environment was uncaring).

With fMRI, discoveries are being made about people who can sense other people's emotional state, but don't empathise with it at an emotional level in the amygdala; this is a characteristic of psychopath behaviour. In time, this may be linked to a genetic component.

With so much transmission of genetic and social behaviour between generations, it is hard to pick out the impact  of epigenetic inheritance. However, I understand that some of the most recent DNA sequencing techniques are able to read out epigenetic markers, as well as the DNA sequence. This should enable a more detailed study of epigenetic inheritance. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenomics
 

Offline Airthumbs

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Thanks for the responses, I am deliberately focusing on this because I am looking for a cure.

With regard to environmental stimuli and violence:  Looking at any top 20 list of games you will find that more then 50% of them are violent confrontational games that involve killing other people. 

Switch on the TV, thankfully I don't, you will find it very tough to avoid the ongoing dramatisation of various conflicts throughout the world portrayed as a necessity and glamorising murder.

There must be a solution, there just has to be!!  If you need me I will be on the High street with my boards of doom "The end is nigh"!

 

Offline Minerva

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I have somewhere some research papers on the effects on pregnant women of warring countries and peaceful ones.  Essentially showing that the amounts of testosterone the babies are subjected to in the womb is greater for pregnant women in warring countries than peaceful ones.  The hypothesis was that babies are born more ready for war or creativity as a result of the wider environment essentially shaping an infant to be ready to survive in it.  I dont remember the detail but I can certainly dig out the ref later if you are interested.
Certainly studies show that conditions during pregnancy have far reaching effects on humans-the study of a Dutch town whose residents nearly starved during the war showed how nutritional deficits in the pregnant women there affected their children well into adult life and seriously affecting their health. (As a by the by there is some suggestion that the optimal diet for any of us is to eat exactly what our mothers ate when they were pregnant).

Epigenetics is fascinating........
 

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