Author Topic: Genetic Memory?  (Read 3236 times)

Offline Rattus

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Re: Genetic Memory?
« Reply #9 on: Monday 17 June 19 19:31 BST (UK) »
The question is, though, how do such environmental cues experienced by an ancestor get encoded into the DNA of the germ cells such that they can be passed on his or her descendants.

That is indeed the question. I have absolutely no idea, though I am aware that no one has yet properly explained the so-called 'junk' side of DNA. So much of what we now readily accept as everyday science would have been mystifying a couple of centuries ago. The error might be to assume that the computer 'coding' analogy is the full story where DNA is concerned.

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Offline arthurk

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Re: Genetic Memory?
« Reply #10 on: Monday 17 June 19 20:13 BST (UK) »
(While I was writing this others have said similar things, but I'll post this anyway without further editing.)

It's an interesting concept, and I think others too have mentioned feeling drawn to certain places or finding that completely unintentionally they have moved to live where their ancestors did.

I believe it has been shown that traumatic experiences can have an effect on a person's DNA, which can then be transmitted to future generations. So is it possible that more benign experiences and connections to a place also have an effect, and be hard-wired into us in some way that we can't yet explain?

I wonder if feeling "at home" in a particular environment (eg latitude, earth's magnetic field etc - the kind of thing that Rattus mentions) might be similar to whatever it is that migratory species rely on. As humans we are generally able to make choices that override instinctive behaviours and adapt to the consequences of doing so, but it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility that we might have some kind of default setting that connects us with a particular habitat.

I'm not a scientist, but I'm also no fan of pseudo-science. The migration of other species is a fact, though we don't fully understand how they do it. All I'm trying to say is that there might be scientific reasons for human behaviours that we don't understand either.
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Offline Gan Yam

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Re: Genetic Memory?
« Reply #11 on: Monday 17 June 19 20:44 BST (UK) »
I believe it has been shown that traumatic experiences can have an effect on a person's DNA, which can then be transmitted to future generations.

This happened in my family although traumatic experience is maybe an overstatement.  When my grandmother was a young girl, she went somewhere she was told not to.  As a result she had an accident that damaged her index finger.  She ended up with a tiny scar at the base of her finger and she was unable to bend it, other than at the top joint, after the accident.  My sister bears the scar in the same place and although she has full movement in her finger, she is also able to keep her finger absolutely straight and bend only the top joint which is really hard to do.  I can't do it and neither can my brother. It maybe just a coincidence but it does seem strange.

This makes me believe that experiences that happen to you can affect the future generations, even more abstract things such as being drawn to a place!!
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Online Erato

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Re: Genetic Memory?
« Reply #12 on: Monday 17 June 19 20:51 BST (UK) »
"traumatic experiences can have an effect on a person's DNA, which can then be transmitted to future generations"

Really?  A human female is born with ovaries that already contain all the egg cells she will ever have.  Oogenesis is completed before birth so any traumatic experience she may undergo during her post-natal life cannot rewrite the DNA that is in them to reflect, let us say. an injured finger.
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Offline Gan Yam

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Re: Genetic Memory?
« Reply #13 on: Monday 17 June 19 21:10 BST (UK) »
"traumatic experiences can have an effect on a person's DNA, which can then be transmitted to future generations"

Really?  A human female is born with ovaries that already contain all the egg cells she will ever have.  Oogenesis is completed before birth so any traumatic experience she may undergo during her post-natal life cannot rewrite the DNA that is in them to reflect, let us say. an injured finger.

I agree it makes no scientific sense!! but lots of things make no sense.
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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Genetic Memory?
« Reply #14 on: Tuesday 18 June 19 06:10 BST (UK) »
"traumatic experiences can have an effect on a person's DNA, which can then be transmitted to future generations"

Really?  A human female is born with ovaries that already contain all the egg cells she will ever have.
Correct but!

Oogenesis is completed before birth so any traumatic experience she may undergo during her post-natal life cannot rewrite the DNA that is in them to reflect, let us say. an injured finger.
Oogenesis of her children's eggs takes place in her body at around 7 weeks of the development of their foetus.

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Offline chris_49

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Re: Genetic Memory?
« Reply #15 on: Tuesday 18 June 19 07:46 BST (UK) »
I'm dubious. A lot of my relatives (on both sides) have a talent for gardening or music (occupationally in the former case) but these are widespread interests, and are almost certainly passed on from parent to or grandparent to child.

The interest or even obsession with trains does seem to be common amongst men on my Skelcey branch, often skipping generations. But how can that be inherited, since the railways have only been around for a few generations? Too short a time in evolutionary terms.

OTOH, late life onset Type 2 diabetes (to slim or average build people) seems to be inheritable among my Davieses - about half seem to get it. Impossible to trace back further - people died younger, and it isn't usually the cause  of death - it's the complications.

Put Lamarckism into Wikipedia and you get a discussion about the inheritance of acquired characteristics.

Skelcey (Skelsey Skelcy Skeley Shelsey Kelcy Skelcher) - Warks, Yorks, Lancs <br />Hancox - Warks<br />Green - Warks<br />Draper - Warks<br />Lynes - Warks<br />Hudson - Warks<br />Morris - Denbs Mont Salop <br />Davies - Cheshire, North Wales<br />Fellowes - Cheshire, Denbighshire<br />Owens - Cheshire/North Wales<br />Hicks - Cornwall<br />Lloyd and Jones (Mont)<br />Rhys/Rees (Mont)

Offline Greensleeves

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Re: Genetic Memory?
« Reply #16 on: Tuesday 18 June 19 08:35 BST (UK) »


I agree it makes no scientific sense!! but lots of things make no sense.

I agree entirely - science can't answer all our questions even though a lot of people might claim it can.  Take death as a good example.  We don't actually know without any doubt whatsoever what happens when we die.  We know from this side that the body dies and the person is gone.  But is there a soul?  Does it go on to another life?  What does it feel like to die?  Will our ancestors' souls come to lead us?  Is there such a thing as reincarnation?  Or is death just the slamming of the door and the end?  Whilst science can have a good stab at answering these questions the responses will only be theories and theories which can neither be proved nor disproved until someone dies and returns to report on the experience. 
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Offline Essnell

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Re: Genetic Memory?
« Reply #17 on: Tuesday 18 June 19 09:11 BST (UK) »
Hi Everyone,

This is a story from my husband who has since departed. 
he was born in london just at WW11 was starting. Spent much of the war in Wales in places that were considered save. 

once during that time he was taken on an outing by his parents to Salisbury Cathedral. all was fine until they entered the Cathedral. he became very upset and the further they proceeded into the Cathedral the worse his distress became. it got so bad that he was screaming before they could leave the  place.  Once outside he calmed down.  so i believe they tried again with the same reaction. 

He just was so afraid of the place. Later when he was older he was bable to tell about it. he said that there was evil there, very bad evil. 

Now forward about 20 years and i have married this person in Australia.  We had decided to sell our first home and buy a larger piece of land.  We looked at so many pieces.  some he would not even walk onto others just a quick look. 

He always said he could sense things about these places that were not good. We did find a place where he was happy .  Later we again sold and moved to a place which we later found out had been an Indigenous Peoples camping ground at corroboree times.  He was quite OK with that, My children were not.  they always said there were eyes watching them, even before we knew of the history of the place.

I have no explanation as to how or why he had these senses.

Essnell