@Guy_Coe's Epigenetic/Enzymatic Implicated Fall


One aspect of the way the human brain is currently configured, is that the “fight or flight” response time from the amygdala’s reaction to incoming stimuli is much, much, quicker than the response time of the neocortex, and thus, we are pre-wired to react before considering and implementing a more measured response. We must consciously hold those insticts in abeyance in order not to overreact. In most normal, “middle class” (sic) circumstances, that’s not life-threatening. But, for stressful scenarios, where the consequences may be dire, acting with a measured response is not a skill that is universally well expressed.
This illustrates the possibility of a “design flaw,” that was the result of a prior incident predisposing the brain’s circuitry poorly; if only the neocortical signal could arise more quickly, and our convictions regarding the universal dignity of all humankind maintained despite challenges.
If this were universally the case, would warfare even exist?
You see where I’m going with this, and what relevance it has to “original (sic) sin?” Your thoughts, @swamidass ?


Wow… it sure sounds like crickets are chirping somewhere? : ) @swamidass ?
This question has a direct bearing on the fifth thesis, in that a genetic change in neocortical brain physiology became fixed, because of it’s “survival advantage” to the invidual, despite its larger ill effects on the population. And thus, a plausible theory on the “inheritance” question may be advanced, without necessarily agreeing with the rest of my proposal.


I’ve passed this along already, haven’t I?


Gimme a break. Plan on responding but have my hands full this week. I’ll be back.


That’s cool. Just eager not to be thought of as completely incompetent! I’ll try to take no news as good news in the meantime. BTW, this theory was first given as an inkling from Carl Sagan, of all people. All the best. : )


@Guy_Coe these are the questions that get to the heart of why it’s hard to go with you down this path.

In the case of the fish, we do not think it was something they ingested. Rather, by a change to their genetic code, some fish gained tolerance to cold (antifreeze). This gave them the ability to be successful in colder environments. We do NOT think that they ate something that simultaneously (1) changed them to be more cold tolerant, AND (1) changed all their offspring to be cold tolerant, without having to eat that something too.

In the case of THC, we see the same pattern. Taking THC certainly alters our brains, at least temporarily. However, that alteration does not pass on to our children. It is not as if our children are now high on marijuana because we were exposed to marijuana. Of course, perhaps they are high because we gave them some marijuana (culture is heritable and epigenetic), but not biologically because we took it before they were born (THC high is genetically heritable).

That is the problem here. It is hard to imagine something that is eaten by the parents, that affects the parents and kids the same way, but is also not genetic. Regardless, genetics does not even pass reliably. So even in a DNA dependent mechanism, we would not expect all children to have that effect.

I think I’ve explained it the best I can. Its starting to feel like we are going in circles.

You are welcome to still put your theory forward, but it still sounds like science fiction to me. Of course, maybe I am missing something, but I’m sure that will be clear over time.


I’m hoping the other scientific abstracts on human neocortical neurophysiology will start to pry your mind open to the possibilities. If not, my bad… Cheers!


@swamidass , here’s another link from “those guys” which heralds the same kind of “magic stories” such as I have proposed for Adam-- like the fish who evolved the ability to circulate an anti-freeze in its blood system, on the basis of an “orphan” gene becoming activated, to heritable effect (due to enhanced survival rates). https://evolutionnews.org/2018/03/adam-and-the-genome-and-the-origin-of-de-novo-genes/


@swamidass Maybe there’s a conceptual disconnect here; I’m not saying that “enzymes caused the fall,” but suggesting that the enzymes intoduced into Adam and Eve’s biochemical systems, by morphing specific protein folds, perhaps, led to a saltational change in their brain neurophysiology, such that the effects were so dramatic as to “instantly” increase the capacity for knowing moral good and evil, conceptually, experientially, relationally, morally, psychologically, etc. Kind of like the sudden changes that come over a person who has a multiple personality disorder, or the extreme mood swings of bipolarism or autism, or any number of other mental maladies, by analogy. Such mental illness can often have “survival advantages” to the individual, while being dysfunctional in normal or harmonious human congress.
Hence, God’s warning not to eat of it. It may have been more appropriate to “eat of it” under different circumstances than the grasping one they actually chose, and so a good gift gets turned to bad by being “stolen.”
Depending upon the neurochemical bases for such a change, and holding in tension the permanency of a maladaptive orientation change towards reality, and including the possibility of the transmissability of such a change --whether genetically or epigenetically, to the “underlying code” of human DNA functioning, i don’t think the basic scenario is “invoking magic.”
Not given the metabolic and other pathways for mind-altering change we already know about.
Here’s a fine piece of analogous ruminating on the difference, however small, statistically, in the comparison of human to chimp DNA.
Contining on with the “software” metaphor used in this article, what if Adam passed on a bad “app,” genetically and / or morphologically speaking? Would we even be able to detect it in the code? Not without a pretty sophisticated diagnostics utility subroutine; a sort of “Malwarebytes” for human cognition.
But, maybe that’s exactly what we have in the well-interpreted text of the Scriptures? Does that make any sense to you? If not, it’s okay. It’s just another foray of mine into trying to convey an understanding. Cheers!


Okay; just for fun, here’s something that definitely falls into @swamidass territory. https://www.livescience.com/62044-scott-kelly-space-genes-not-changed.html Enjoy!


“Saltational Evolution: Hopeful Monsters Are Here to Stay”
Günter Theißen, Department of GeneticsFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
18 February, 2009
Since 150 years it is hypothesized now that evolution always proceeds in a countless number of very small steps (Darwin in On the origin of species by means of natural selection or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle of life, Murray, London, 1859), a view termed “gradualism”. Few contemporary biologists will doubt that gradualism reflects the most frequent mode of evolution, but whether it is the only one remains controversial. It has been suggested that in some cases profound (“saltational”) changes may have occurred within one or a few generations of organisms. Organisms with a profound mutant phenotype that have the potential to establish a new evolutionary lineage have been termed “hopeful monsters”. Recently I have reviewed the concept of hopeful monsters in this journal mainly from a historical perspective, and provided some evidence for their past and present existence. Here I provide a brief update on data and discussions supporting the view that hopeful monsters and saltational evolution are valuable biological concepts. I suggest that far from being mutually exclusive scenarios, both gradual and saltational evolution are required to explain the complexity and diversity of life on earth. In my view, gradual changes represent the usual mode of evolution, but are unlikely to be able to explain all key innovations and changes in body plans. Saltational changes involving hopeful monsters are probably very exceptional events, but since they have the potential to establish profound novelties sometimes facilitating adaptive radiations, they are of quite some importance, even if they would occur in any evolutionary lineage less than once in a million years. From that point of view saltational changes are not more bizarre scenarios of evolutionary change than whole genome duplications, endosymbiosis or impacts of meteorites. In conclusion I argue that the complete dismissal of saltational evolution is a major historical error of evolutionary biology tracing back to Darwin that needs to be rectified.

@swamidass , any comments?


A different paper highlighting the importance of “soft inheritance” and potential saltational change due to epigenetic factors, themselves affected by environmental factors.


@swamidass, Am I inching any closer to the “magic” threshold which compels your native skepticism to allow, at least, a hypothetical exploration? Off the record, if you’d prefer?



@Guy_Coe & @swamidass

I think the thread about the Cambrian era creatures opening up a brand new evolutionary window is very similar… there could have been a mutation that allowed cells to defend themselves from too much oxygen, which made those life forms much more robust as well as much more able to explore niches in what would have been very hostile to the old style life!


Yes, I’d agree, and obviously, I propose “hopeful monster” status to Adam and Eve themselves, with regard to the saltational and heritable changes to their interior neocortical brain structure. Of course this is speculative, but also has a basis in the text speaking of “increased pain in childbirth,” so it’s not simply a tendentious proposal.


More of the old, old story…