Are apocalyptic theories so popular because of the epigenome?

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Offline norcalclimber

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It seems to me that for all of recorded history, apocalypse theories have always been extremely popular.  If the epigenome records environmental experiences of an organism;  Could it be that we genetically "remember" the various global catastrophes which have occurred in the past?

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Offline Bored chemist

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Are apocalyptic theories so popular because of the epigenome?
« Reply #1 on: 17/05/2010 21:39:28 »
Our ancient history is the same for all of us; are all our epigenetics the same?
Is there some part of our epigenetic make-up (whatever that might be) that's the same for all of us?
If we already know all that stuff, why did I have so much difficulty learning history at school?
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Offline norcalclimber

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Are apocalyptic theories so popular because of the epigenome?
« Reply #2 on: 17/05/2010 22:17:53 »
From what I have heard, at some point in the evolution of humans there was an event which decimated the population and all descendants are from a relatively small group of surviving humans.  I wonder too whether there is a part of the epigenome which is common to all.  It seems as if some epigenomic markers are set at birth and never change after that, while others are subject to change during an individual's lifetime.

What about instinct?  Could instinct merely be epigenetic memory?

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Offline Geezer

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Are apocalyptic theories so popular because of the epigenome?
« Reply #3 on: 18/05/2010 04:39:28 »
Depends what you mean by instinct. Some baby animals are able to run almost as soon as they are born. I think this is an instinct - they certainly didn't have much time to learn. I assume they have the ability because their brains and nervous systems are "pre-programmed" to be able to do it.

Does the epigenome have anything to do with that?
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Offline norcalclimber

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Are apocalyptic theories so popular because of the epigenome?
« Reply #4 on: 18/05/2010 19:14:49 »
Depends what you mean by instinct. Some baby animals are able to run almost as soon as they are born. I think this is an instinct - they certainly didn't have much time to learn. I assume they have the ability because their brains and nervous systems are "pre-programmed" to be able to do it.

Does the epigenome have anything to do with that?

That's exactly what I mean by instinct.  I have also always assumed that their brains were programmed for that, but now I wonder whether it is the genome doing the programming or the epigenome.

Also, they say people are genetically predisposed for this or that... what about epigenetically predisposed?  Could it be that say, serial killers(to use an extreme example) are born that way because of an epigenetic error? 

Could it be that there is a homosexual epigene?  Not trying to start any political/religious debate here, what I am wondering is whether the phrase "they were born that way" is actually accurate with regards to things which have been often regarded as an aspect of nurture and not nature.

I guess we will need a tremendous amount of research before we can answer these questions, but I can't help but wonder :)