Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: annie123 on 24/10/2020 18:07:40

Title: is there any evidence for genetic memories?
Post by: annie123 on 24/10/2020 18:07:40
Is there any evidence -(and I don't know how this would be discovered!)for some kind of genetic memory for places/situations/people/ etc.? When i watch programmes about or visit historical places like Orkney or Stonehenge I have quite different reactions than I had seeing the pyramids or other impressive buildings/places that are out of my cultural sphere. I know my ancestors are from the north and thousands of years ago may have lived in Shetland/Orkney or somewhere in the Scottish islands. When i visited the Hebrides, too, I had the same sort of emotional reaction to the standing stones, circles etc. as i have to places like Stonehenge which recent programmes on tv suggest were probably constructed by descendants of the same people who lived in Orkney when it was quite a centre of a neolithic civilization. I have visited places in the middle east that are just as old but do not have the same involuntary emotional response to them although they are just as impressive. Is there any,even speculative theory about why one would react in this way to structures in pone's own historical environment independently of the actual appreciation of skill and technological ability of ancient builders
Title: Re: is there any evidence for genetic memories?
Post by: Halc on 24/10/2020 21:15:46
People can have an emotional response to Stonehenge and pyramids and such without being directly descended from those that built them. Is there some controlled effect known to the contrary?  Some test showing people various structures without knowing which are from their ancestry and which not?

That said, they taught flat worms to do some task (maze maybe) and then ground them up and injected/injested the material into new flatworms, which subsequently performed better in the task than the control group.  That might be chemical memory, not necessarily genetic memory, but it's something, no?
Title: Re: is there any evidence for genetic memories?
Post by: alancalverd on 24/10/2020 23:30:08
I suspect that standing stones and suchlike in the British Isles will make an impact on a Brit because the environment, climate and agriculture are familiar, so we can imagine ourselves somehow involved in the society that constructed them, but a pyramid in a hot desert is completely alien.

We also have a healthy separation of church and state: kings and queens run the army and appoint the civil courts, but we don't worship them as gods, so the excessive veneration embodied in a pyramid is frankly distasteful.

For what it's worth, my theory of stone circles and wood henges is that their primary purpose was for the regulation of trade. We know that lots of cattle were raised in Orkney, probably more than required to feed the population, so there would be good reason to trade for, say, fruit from further south. But there's no point in making a journey of several days or weeks to trade if your opposite numbers don't turn up at the same time and place.  So everyone builds a market hall with a synchronised calendar: the dawn sun at midsummer. Now we agree to meet at, say, Stonehenge, 60 days after the solstice. Knowing how long it takes to walk there, we can organise our slaughter, curing, packing and travel, with a high degree of confidence that we will meet other producers and merchants.  This explains the huge pile of pig bones near Stonehenge - it's an early Travelodge where salesmen meet and eat.   

Genetic memory? Yes, we are indeed a nation of shopkeepers, and we recognise a marketplace when we see one. 
Title: Re: is there any evidence for genetic memories?
Post by: annie123 on 25/10/2020 04:19:30
perhaps. I don't have any emotional reaction to pyramids - not in the same way I do to the British monuments. And it's not through long familiarity or thoughts of home - I haven't lived in Britain for decades but I used to live near Stonehenge as a child and went there often on my bike before all the barbed wire and gift shops. Even just seeing them on tv has a similar effect
Title: Re: is there any evidence for genetic memories?
Post by: annie123 on 25/10/2020 04:20:55
your flatworm ref. could have something to it. I ought to look into it further. I know Rupert Sheldrake writes about this sort of thing.
Title: Re: is there any evidence for genetic memories?
Post by: annie123 on 25/10/2020 04:28:02
I wasn't suggesting I was responding to the supposed spiritual uses of these monuments although they may have had significance for their builders in those terms. Yes, they probably had a lot of practical uses.It's more a feeling of amazement at being able to touch things that have been worked on and shaped by people 5000 years ago. I held a stone at Skara Brae once that someone had used to grind grain on another stone- it had the impressions of the user's fingers worn into the stone -and i could put my own fingers into the grooves. 5000 years later. That was something I would never get the same feeling from something from somewhere else.
ANyway, I was just curious.
Title: Re: is there any evidence for genetic memories?
Post by: alancalverd on 25/10/2020 11:43:47
I think anyone clever enough to haul rocks from Wales to Wiltshire wouldn't be fooled by notions of spirituality!

But there is of course plenty of evidence of powerful genetic memory in other species. Nobody teaches swallows or butterflies how or where to migrate, but they do exactly what their parents did.