Nature Vs. Nurture + Epigenetics
What Is Epigenetic’s
Dr. Bruce Lipton explained epigenetic’s best in his 2011 book ‘The Biology ofBelief’: Unleashing the power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles’. He explains it like this…
When you have a cell in a Petri dish in a laboratory, and it isn’t growing the way that you want it to, you don’t change the cell, you change its environment.
Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, Bruce Lipton — ‘created’ (doesn’t feel like the right word) — realized the science of epigenetic’s. What we know now from epigenetic’s is that just because you have genes doesn’t mean they will necessarily express.
Gene expression is affected by our environment, our diet, exercise, our mood, our mental state or our consciousness to name a few.
For example, if all the women in your family have had breast cancer, and you fear it or expect to get it as well, believe it or not, your expectation of getting it could potentially help the gene express and fulfill your expectation.
However, if you manage things like diet & exercise and as Dr. Bruce Lipton expresses so practically, be aware of and mange your consciousness or your state of mind, the gene does not necessarily have to express.
Therefore, having a predisposition to something doesn’t mean as much when you can manage the way your genes express.
This is incredible news for everyone. So, the question then becomes, how exactly do you get your genes to express the way you want them to and avoid the things that you see as negative. (i.e., will cause you pain or death)
I believe I read ‘The Biology of Belief’ it around 2015 and back then it was especially groundbreaking. Since then, there have been lots of studies around this subject of epigenetic gene expression.
*Just something to notice that Bruce Lipton who, again, realized the science of epigenetic’s, uses consciousness as the first power word in the title of his book explaining what epigenetic’s is, still if you read how [epigenetic’s is defined on the CDC website] for instance, it’s as if consciousness has nothing to do with it. * If you think that is interesting, you should check out Dr. Bruce Liptons videos about things such as the coronavirus.
His messages are always full of positivity and encouragement. *Just something to notice that Bruce Lipton who, again, realized the science of epigenetic’s, uses consciousness as the first power word in the title of his book explaining what epigenetic’s is, still if you read how [epigenetic’s is defined on the CDC website] for instance, it’s as if consciousness has nothing to do with it. * If you think that is interesting, you should check out Dr. Bruce Liptons videos about things such as the coronavirus. His messages are always full of positivity and encouragement.
Epigenetic Gene Expression & Our Interconnectedness
While there are many factors that contribute to the expression or inhibiting of genes, some of them that we have research on are diet, exercise, environment & mood. This clearly is the beginning of more of a systems approach — or holistic view — to health than the current reductionist science that is used today.
We are all connected to everyone and everything. If you do not believe this, just look to the invisible electromagnetic -energy — fields around our bodies (our aura’s) that connect with each other and also connect into the electromagnetic field of the earth which encompasses us all.
While it seems like we are separate and for so long we’ve enjoyed believing that we are, this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. We are all truly connected in multidimensional ways, that go far beyond what we can experience with our physical senses, that science is just beginning to be able to read, measure and discover.
**See my video ‘There is no separation’ here.**
The effect of diet on genetics is obviously demonstrated in honeybee’s. What differentiates the sterile worker bee’s from the fertile queen bee is not genetics, but diet. The bee’s decide who will become queen through a process that is unknown to me, and she gets a different diet as larvae. The newborn that is chosen to be queen is fed exclusively with royal jelly, a substance secreted by worker bees which is richer than the food given to worker bee’s and which activates the gene program that makes the bee fertile.
This is an incredibly significant change as the queen is the only sexually developed female. (Any bee you ever see will likely be a sexually underdeveloped female worker bee, as none of the other bee’s ever leave the nest under common conditions)
The queen bee is the largest and longest living type of bee — surviving for up to six years. She is the surrogate for the entire hive, laying eggs all day every day, creating the next generation of bee’s. She produces chemicals that influence the behavior of the other bees.
None of which would be possible without diet and how it affects the epigenetic’s.
Epigenetic’ Of Mice & Men (and Women)
Another great example of how nutrition influences epigenetic during development is shown to us in mice. Mice with an active agouti gene have a yellow coat and a propensity to become obese. This gene’s expression, however, can be switched off by DNA methylation.
If a pregnant mouse receives supplements that can release methyl groups — such as folic acid or choline — the pups’ agouti genes become methylated and thus, inactive. The pups still carry the agouti gene, but they lose the agouti phenotype and end up with brown fur and no increased tendency toward obesity.
Insufficient folic acid is also implicated in developmental conditions in humans, such as spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Which is why pregnant women are recommended to supplement folic acid in their diet.
In a study conducted at the German Research Center for Environmental Health & published in Nature Geneticsin 2015, genetically identical mice that consumed a high-fat diet were more likely to produce obese offspring with impaired glucose tolerance, an early sign of type 2 diabetes.
Epidemiological studies show how certain exposures have shaped the health of specific populations over time, particularly between mother and child.
In 1944 The Dutch Hunger Winter struck the western Netherlands, forcing inhabitants to live on between 400 & 800 calories a day. Later scientific studies show that babies conceived or delivered during this period have elevated rates of obesity, altered lipid profiles & cardiovascular disease.
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Even emotional trauma can be transmitted to subsequent generations through epigenetic inheritance. A study in 2016 conducted by New York’s Mount Sinai hospital and published in Biological Psychiatry suggests that the genes of the children of Holocaust survivors showed evidence of an increased likelihood of stress disorders.
In 2013, a study published in Epigenetic’s, scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden asked 23 men and women to bicycle using only one leg for 45 minutes, four times a week over three months. In comparing muscle biopsies before and after the experiment, scientists found that, in the exercised muscle, new patterns had developed on genes associated with insulin response, inflammation & energy metabolism.
It’s difficult to study inherited behavior because it’s difficult to study genes.
So while we can find a gene to seemingly manage one physical characteristic, such as eye color, there doesn’t seem to be a gene that controls curiosity, for instance. Behavior is more complex.
Also very rarely do genes work on a 1:1 ratio of gene & characteristic. It is more common that a multitude of genes work together to determine the strength of a trait. At least that is our scientific understanding at this point.
( It is difficult for me to speak of anything in science as the end-all be-all matter of fact, because as we learn more we deepen our understanding and the truth often changes as we discover more. Besides the fact that science is made up of theories and repeatedly observed hypothesis’ – but that’s a whole other discussion )
Some scientists, in the hopes of learning more of inherited behavior have studied separated twins. While some scientists really value this research some scientists are skeptics with the argument that twins are a study all on their own that is separate from non-twin humans.
Nature vs Nurture: My Philosophy
Throughout history both nature and nurture have held the predominant belief at different times. Another issue arises in that unlike physical traits, behaviors can be transmitted through genetics or upbringing. So if a son is a philosopher like his father, it’s difficult to tell which is correlation and which is causation – whether he was born a philosopher or learned to be one. Of course, it is likely a much more dynamic combination of both genes and upbringing.
I know personally that behaviors are transmitted through genes because of Mozart, my Pomeranian-chiuahuah. He became a father to 5 adorable puppies, with my friends French bulldog, while my friend was dog sitting. Mozart met the puppies maybe once or twice, briefly, yet some of them had behaviors that were exactly like his. (We made sure every pup found a wonderful loving home, by the way).
There are also the horses in Puerto Rico which, I’ve been told, are made to walk on stones so that they have a lighter trot. Eventually, the horses are born walking this way.
I was not raised by my biological father, but somehow I managed to have his laugh and his gait, among other things. While he wasn’t completely out of my life, the similarity is uncanny.
In the question of Nature Vs. Nurture, what seems to me is that even when it comes to upbringing, and you are learning from your environment — from your parents’ behavior, for instance — they have that behavior because of something they were either born with or learned through their environment. Ultimately, nurture is nature when you really look at it. We are nature, and everything on the earth is of the earth.
Quantum computers could theoretically (or maybe they have) predict with algorithms, our thoughts, and emotions if they had enough information about what had happened in our past. Which is why I think internet privacy is so important because some of these companies could easily know more about us and where we are headed (or what we are going to want to buy) than we know about ourselves.
So it is all nature because nature is a thing that everything is a part of. We may disrupt it and seem to upset it, but even that is just part of who and what we are. We are like epigenetic genes expressing based on our environment. One could question, really how much control we are really in if we make decisions based on our environments, moods and experiences.
One last interesting thing to consider is that if we can be passed down behaviors from ancestors that are seemingly positive or negative, we can be passed down things like fears. Which means we could have irrational fears that we don’t understand because of what our ancestors lived through.
If that is the case then in this lifetime, we have the opportunity to heal things like this from out bloodlines and timelines. As long as consciousness continues it’s evolution and we continue becoming more and more self aware, we are good and nothing has gone wrong. Nature has a way of making sure that things move in the right direction.